This is my last blog post from the United States this semester!
I keep having to let that sink in because it still seems so unreal that I am leaving in a couple of days. I don’t have anything packed or ready but everything will come together, probably the night before! As I get ready to leave, I think about how far away this all seemed last semester; that I would actually be boarding a plane and starting a semester in London. I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on how I got here and to share what I learned as Graphic Design major who decided, one night, that I was going abroad and nothing was stopping me!
1. Be Brave!
The decision to Study Abroad seems easy when you are an incoming freshman with your whole college experience in front of you. However, when it could actually be real it’s a scary idea. Your classes could get unaligned from the 4 year schedule you are given. You have to leave your friends and roommates. There are all kinds of daunting thoughts. Then you realize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it will be one of the coolest things you ever do; you get over it and you make it happen!
2. Don’t be afraid to go for what you want!
London is a city I have dreamed about but it was a little bit more difficult to work into my current program than other choices. With some extra paperwork and extra meetings, everything worked out and I’m glad that I stood up for what I wanted.
3. Get the paperwork started early!
Not that you will finish it early but it is way more work than I ever imagined. It takes a lot of time and energy to get finished, on top of all your other homework. There are lots of meetings and phone-calls and it is overwhelming, but all worth it!
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
At a couple points during all of my paperwork I felt kind of lost in the process; there are so many questions and things to figure out and I was frustrated. Everyone in the art department at Marywood was so helpful during this time. It was so nice to know that I could go to my professors, even when they couldn’t help me directly with a paper. Their encouragement and assistance made the process much easier and less scary!
5. Let Things Go!
Things will get off schedule and get messed up, then put back together. I still don’t know my schedule or roommates. Realize that its going to be a crazy adventure with a lot of change and embrace it! Some things will be out of your control or you’ll need to compromise! And it’s ok!
6. Remember that you are good enough!
Us Graphic Designers can do anything that we put our minds to! I was worried that entering a graphic design class in a school in England I may not be good enough. I’m confident about my art, but not always. It took some encouragement, but I have faced the challenges presented by all of my other classes and came out ok and I will for these too!
Ok, so writing this all is already making me feel more courageous! Now it is time to for the payoff; actually going abroad. I can’t wait to share all of the museums and graphic design activities I find while in London. Until then I hope you all really think about Studying Abroad whether you are a future or current student; remember you can do anything and there are people to help get you there; isn’t that what college is all about?