51ӰԺ

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

51ӰԺ

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

51ӰԺ

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

51ӰԺ

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • June 20, 2024
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024

Notes From an Average Girl | Notes from a scared traveler

Notes from an Average Girl is a biweekly, relatable blog about navigating college life.
Notes+From+an+Average+Girl+%7C+Notes+from+a+scared+traveler
Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

In about five months, I’ll be moving 4,000 miles away from home for four and a half months. I chose to study abroad in the beautiful city of Barcelona for obvious reasons, like its warm weather and pretty beaches, but the more forms I sign and plans I make, Pittsburgh’s cold weather, dirty rivers and ugly buildings are looking better and better.

When I began dreaming of studying abroad in high school, I imagined myself as independent and powerful. Now, I don’t know what I’ll do without my mom in driving distance. Instead, she’ll be an 8-hour and very expensive plane ride away.

As the semester draws to a close, I find myself starting conversations with my friends with, “next semester, we should …” before my voice trails off. Next semester, I will not be in Pittsburgh. There will not be a “we,” because it’ll just be my friends without me. I dread the “FOMO” I’m going to get as I wake up in the morning right as they’re arriving home from a night out, sending pictures and videos, as Barcelona is sadly 6 hours ahead. I worry that when I come back, my friends will have all new inside jokes. They’ll make new friends and tell stories I’ve never heard before. 

The part that scares me most is that I’m going completely alone. The program I’m traveling with includes students from all around the world, not just Pitt. Initially, this was a positive aspect. I’ll meet people from all over, I’ll learn about different cultures and share my own and I’ll leave the East Coast bubble that I currently live in. But, now, I realize that means it’s up to my introverted self to make friends, and I fear that I won’t.

As these worries swarm through my head, I’m reminded of what I felt as I graduated high school. I was scared to leave home. I was afraid I wouldn’t make friends in college. This is what calms my nerves about moving abroad. Leaving for college was the best decision I’ve ever made. Though I’m introverted, I made plenty of friends. My family and friends back home didn’t forget about me. My parents were far away, but they always answered the phone whenever I called. As scared as I am, I know it’ll be OK, because if I did it once, I can do it again.

As I remind myself that these fears are natural, I look forward to the day I look back on this blog and feel silly. I’m going to meet amazing people, try delicious food and explore beautiful cities. My friends will sit in organic chemistry and human physiology, while my professors will teach me oceanography on a beach and the culture of food during a tour of a chocolate factory. I’ll visit new countries every weekend and send pictures to my friends and family, this time making them jealous. I’m sure I’ll wish they were there with me, but I’ll be proud that I didn’t let my fear stop me from the independence I dreamed of back in high school.

About the Contributor
Madeline Milchman, Senior Staff Writer