College, Stress, and Preparing to Study Abroad

            This semester is kicking my ass. I’m currently taking 20 units right now (anything over 18 is overload) and it’s just too much. By the time I get through Monday and Tuesday I’m a complete wreck and I still have to make it through the rest of the week! I know, there are people with real problems, but sometimes you just have to vent. Why does everything have to be so hard?

            Preparing to study abroad next semester is causing me more stress than anything else. I’m trying to figure out how to apply for a visa, I need to fill out yet another packet, I’m required to take a cross-cultural training class which is turning into a nightmare, and that’s all on top of the normal worries of traveling. I’ll need to buy a plane ticket, figure out what to pack, and figure out what my money situation is. I’m also worried that I won’t make any friends, wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do on a three-week spring break, imagining myself spending my 21st birthday alone in my room crying, and freaking out at the idea of getting on a plane for the first time. It’s just so much stress to add to my already full capacity.

            And that class I have to take, I could go on all day. The work load is insane, I can’t do anything right, everyone seems to know something I don’t, I’m pretty sure the professor hates me – and I’m not too fond of her, and I feel like the one point we are supposed to get is that we don’t want to be the stupid American tourist that everyone can recognize from fifty feet away. What is so wrong with that!? I’m an American. I wave to people when I see them, I give people thumbs-up all the time, I use words like “dude” and “bathroom”, I wear jeans and tennis shoes. As long as I’m not offending anyone or giving a bad impression of Americans I don’t see a problem. But my professor acts like the worst thing you can do is act like an American. I’m super excited to meet people from other nationalities, and I hope they are excited to meet me – as I am.

            I’m all for learning about the British culture and their values, customs, and way of life. And I do think it is a good idea to have a better idea of who I am as an American and an individual before I set sail. But I feel like we are over-preparing. I want some surprises; I don’t want to know what is around every corner. What’s the fun in that?

            Anyway, I’m done ranting about that class. I just want to say that this whole study abroad thing sure as hell better be worth it, because there is so much work just to get over there. And I know that once I make it there will still be more work. I fully expect to have the time of my life and to come home feeling like it was so beyond worth the effort. But that pessimist in my head cannot stop thinking of new ways that it could go wrong. I might not get to go at all, it’s definitely possible. I need to pass this class with a 75% – the lowest grade I’ve received in my two-year college education is a B+. But I’ve never had to do well before, it was always a choice. The mere fact that it’s no longer a choice is sending me into a panic. I’m usually an exemplary student, but I’ve been awful lately. I’ve been skipping readings, missing assignments, forgetting all sorts of things, and I even went to class without a pencil the other day! There is a pretty decent chance that I am actually failing that class at this moment. There is still a lot to turn in, but my chances of getting an A are pretty much non-existent. Good bye GPA.

            I guess that’s all I have to say. A bit anti-climactic, I know. Sorry. I’m pretty much going to be going into extreme homework mode now so that I can catch up and stop feeling like such a failure. I just have to make it through the next four weeks, and then I can breathe.

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3 thoughts on “College, Stress, and Preparing to Study Abroad

  1. I’m in college too, and I completely understand the stress and aggravation you’re experiencing. I hope you push through everything and do well in school! I wrote a post a while ago when I was feeling like a failure (you saying you had had to stop feeling like one made me think of it) I look at it every once in a while when I need a pick me up. Here’s the link to that and another one I think you might find useful to keep pushing the next couple weeks =) Good Luck!!

    http://ucfknight46.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/failure/
    http://ucfknight46.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/fighting/

    I hope you enjoy =)

    • That’s one of the best things about college struggles: you know there are thousands of people all over the world going through similar situations. All we can do is keep trying our best, and that’s enough. Thanks for the comment and I enjoyed checking out your blog! =)

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