Does anyone else really worry about change?
Here we go again: tomorrow I am starting all over again, and moving to Siena, Italy for the second half of my year abroad. In my last blog, I spoke about how differently I feel about it all, in comparison to how I felt (or remember feeling) last July, when I flew to Colombia. In some ways, yes, I am feeling a lot more confident about it- the logistics, making new friends, doing another language and just generally, moving abroad. But oh my word, sometimes I am still so terrified. In fact, I had a bit of a nervous day yesterday, where the prospect of going seemed like such a daunting challenge, which ended up with me sitting in the car in my pyjamas, eating a twirl for half an hour, and refusing to start packing.
Note: it is almost midday, and I have still not commenced said packing.
2nd Note: it is now midday, and I am editing this blog. I have started packing, and this has only increased the fear. AHHHHHH
Of course, I do realise how lucky I am to be able to study abroad and live in Italy for a little bit, especially such a beautiful part of Italy. And yeah yeah yeah, I recognise that all of this is character and personal strength building, and hopefully, I will be able to call on said resilience in the future. But I also would be lying if I said I was totally confident in myself. I think a lot of people feel similarly before starting university, as when you’re faced with a total change where you need to move towns, live with new people and start a new course, the sheer size of it all means the fear can be quite overwhelming. If this is you, and you are starting university after summer, good luck, don’t worry too much and remember that pretty much everyone is in the same boat.
I guess I just want to vent! Does anyone else just absolutely detest change and new beginnings? Especially the prospect of it. I don’t mean like a new haircut, but like, the new classroom, where you’ve got to introduce yourself by stating a fact and explaining why you like your course. I mean, in theory, I am not a “factless” person and I have chosen to do this course (in fact, I have even written a personal statement about why I would like to do the course) so I do have things to say. However, the minute I am made to introduce myself, potentially in another language, I freeze up, and I usually want the ground to swallow me whole (or run out the room threatening to throw up a la Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries– WHAT A FILM!).
The classroom introduction is just one example, as of course there are a whole host of potentially embarrassing situations that could occur once I start my semester, that I am already imagining and torturing myself with. Take, for instance, meeting my new flatmates, who are people I don’t know at all, and could be from anywhere in the world. Or group work, oh my word, group work. Whenever a lecturer mentions it I just feel my insides shrivelling. NO, negatively speculating is not beneficial, but I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
I think another thing that makes it worse is that I can’t seem to learn from previous situations- yes, I obviously had to go through change and new beginnings in Warwick and Bogotá, and I survived. But to me, that still doesn’t make the prospect of undertaking it all again any easier, it just seems like something I’ve done, I don’t particularly want to remember or do again, and that’s that.
I guess sometimes when we remember situations, our memories are obscured; its a lot easier to just remember the positives for example. However, thinking about my first few weeks, I seem to just be remembering the negatives of my move to Colombia and Warwick, and how nervous and embarrassed I seemed to feel.
I don’t really know what I am trying to get at here, as I am certainly not going to conclude with a life-affirming lesson about how to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts. I mean, given I will probably continue torturing myself for the next few weeks, it’s hardly fair for me to preach about how much more confident I am about embracing change and new beginnings now, and how much more I expect to be in the future. Perhaps, after this whole year has finished, and I am packing my things to return to Warwick for the final two years of my degree, I will be able to reread this blog post and laugh at how nervous I was. But at the same time, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume I will sympathise with everything I’ve said, and probably feel similarly at the idea of returning to Warwick. I guess, regardless of how you feel, it is important to not judge yourself too harshly. Whilst the first weeks of Italian lessons will no doubt bring about some awkwardness, after that, I imagine I will be okay. I mean, practically everyone claims to be “shy in unknown territory, and then full of confidence with their friends”- its just part of being human and we’re all suffering together.
I hope that if like me, you are daunted by the unknown and fearful of new things, this post has reassured you that I hate it too sometimes. Obviously, the decision to do a year abroad seems to go hand-in-hand with the idea of change, so of course, I have brought this upon myself, which I do occasionally regret. Nevertheless, I suppose in the coming days, when I am briefly wallowing in regret, I will try and consider the positives of the situation and overcome my tendency to pity myself. It’s not that bad, just something we’ve all got to do.