Everyone says that their favorite memories are from studying aboard and those who didn't get the chance to go say that it's their biggest regret. Therefore, I knew that studying abroad was the one thing I wanted to make sure I fit into my time at USC. However, due to recruiting and other restrictions I kept pushing it back and the only time to go was during the spring of senior year, my last semester as an undergrad. During the last few months leading up to the end of fall semester, I didn't have any sentiment about leaving. I was overwhelmed with school, recruiting, and thinking about real life. I just wanted to let go, forget all my worries, and explore the world. I was ready to embark on my journey across the globe. It wasn't until I took my last final and packed up my life out my 8-person apartment, that I realized how different my life was going to be. I didn't have the safe haven of USC and the life I was used to, to fall back on. I took one last walk through campus as a student: stopping in front of Tommy Trojan to reminisce on all the crazy antics that occurred there, admiring the beauty of Doheny under the sun's rays, and eating my last Amazebowls. My last step off campus meant saying good bye to the place that I've called home for the past 4 years, the one that has helped me find myself, lose myself, and find myself again, and the place that has brought me countless memories (some I will remember forever and others I wished I could remember). I have met some of the greatest people who I can call one of my bestest friends. They have been there for me every step of the way, helping me develop into the person I am. It saddened me that this was the last time we were all going to be in the same place at the same time. Life is going to pull us in all different directions but I have faith that the bonds we've built and the memories we've created will keep us connected.
The hardest part was listening to my friends make plans for next semester and that I wasn't going to be a part of them. Everyone wanted to go harder and crazier than they've ever have during their last semester at USC. Some may say that going abroad is my crazy last semester but it isn't going to be the same without my friends. From Vegas trips to Coachella, road trips, and weeknights at the 9-0, these are the moments that most second semester seniors look forward to and I will can't.
Honestly, a part of me didn't want to go abroad anymore. A part of me wanted to go back to USC for one more semester. A part of me didn't want to say good bye. I was torn. I know these next few months will be one of the best times of my life but I wasn't ready to bid my farewell. It was a bittersweet moment saying good bye to the life I knew and the people I was comfortable with and embarking on this journey to places unknown to me. I think my feelings would be different if I were coming back to USC after this semester and leaving now has definitely made me rethink my decision. Although I know I'm committed, I was not completely happy about leaving.
But I have to be a big girl and make the leap. I need to come out of my comfort zone and go see what this gorgeous planet has to offer. I know I'm going to make unforgettable memories, meet amazing people, and experience something most only dream about. I know when I step foot on the foreign country, all of the worries and nerves of leaving will vanish and I will want to dive head first into my abroad adventures. When I'm there, I want to absorb all the cultures, learn the history, eat and drink the best food/beverages, and interact with people from around the world. Studying abroad will help me find all the wonders of the world, in all the nooks and crannies. As I am packing to leave, with only a few short days left, I'm reminiscing on everything that my life has been up until this point and realizing how these next few months will completely change my view on the world, and my view on myself. I'm excited to take on this adventure and I hope you will join me and follow my journey.
Bon Voyage, Chi!