2 days to departure: My biggest fears about study abroad.

While I’m ridiculously excited that I’ll be departing on Saturday, any new experience comes with some apprehension. So without further ado, a list of fears and explanations, because confronting them is healthy right?

  • Dragging my luggage from the train station to housing- let me explain: I carelessly managed to book my flight so that it would come in after the official arrival window for DIS students, which means that I have to deal with my own transportation from airport to housing, Krogerup Hojskole (hojskole by the way is pronounced like “high school”). A cab would have cost an obscene amount, but luckily public transport looks like it’s going to cost about $10 from the Lufthavn (airport to Humlebaek. The tricky part is the 1.4 km that I need to walk to get to housing, which isn’t that far, but it’ll be getting dark and I’ll have a fairly large suitcase. According to my RA, who I’ve been talking to via facebook, there’s a shortcut– but it’s through the woods, so perhaps I’ll forgo that on my first journey. 
  • Not liking my classes Today I noticed that the classes I’m enrolled in online are different from what I thought my final schedule was. In reality, I’m not much bothered by it, but the uncertainty is frustrating, not to mention, a friend of mine recently returned from a summer term with DIS, and she said her psychology classes were both challenging and boring, which is not exactly what you want to hear. On the plus side, I’m enrolled in a specific philosophy class that another friend of mine gave very positive reviews.
  • Getting lazy about running/training for my half marathon: basically, I’ve been good about working out this summer because I had nothing better to do, but I don’t want to have to start from scratch to train for the Nashville Country Music half when I return to Vanderbilt in the spring.
  • Running out of money: I worked all summer and saved as much as I could for this trip, but Copenhagen is notoriously expensive, and I won’t be working while I’m there. My personal financial preference is to always have a $1000 cushion in my savings account for emergencies, but I’m not sure if that will be possible during my abroad experience.
  • Missing out on opportunities because I’m stingy with my money: Alternately, this experience is once in a lifetime, and I’d like to be able to take advantage of the numerous travel opportunities as well as local culture and nightlife without constantly saying “no” to things because I’m worried about money.
  • Not having enough to eat: I’m pretty convinced that I have some sort of hyper metabolic disorder, this is entirely self diagnosed because I avoid doctors like the plague. I was one of those kids being fed protein shakes to gain weight in middle school, and routinely underweight. Things haven’t changed much. When I came to college, I actually used all of the 21 weekly meals they gave us as freshman, and whined my entire sophomore year about the reduction to 14. I’m a bit of a foodie, I love to eat, and I’m almost always hungry. Luckily I’ll have two meals a day provided at the folkehojskole, and I’m planning on bringing a bag lunch into Copenhagen during the day to be economical.
  • Cold Weather: I’ve lived 3 places, New Mexico (5 years), Florida ( 11 years) and now Tennessee for the past 4 years. I’ve never experienced a true winter, I detest cold/rainy days and I’m praying that my coat will be warm enough.
  • Feeling Lonely or Depressed: basically, gray weather depresses me, I know it won’t be a problem as long as I maintain an active lifestyle, but my lack of experience with cold weather makes me apprehensive.
  • A tragedy in the family while I’m gone: the majority of my family lives in Knoxville, just three hours from school, although I almost never go home for any time other than the holidays, it’s a great comfort knowing that I could if need be.
  • My hillbilly teeth falling out: I have terrible teeth, there’s no getting around it, I had something like 14 cavities in my baby teeth, all before the age of 10. Yes I brushed and flossed, (no seriously, I actually flossed) from an early age, No I didn’t eat a lot of candy or sweets (as if my health nut parents would allow that). But for some reason, they’re just awful. A dentist recently told me that I had 11 cavities that need to be filled, (somehow they all appeared in the last two years) and that it would cost $2000, to this I laughed, and responded “lemme go pick that from my money tree,” and walked out. So hopefully that won’t come back to bite me in the next 4 months.
  • Missing Vandy football//Tailgating: SEC football is a big deal, not to mention this is one of the most promising seasons. I’m comforting myself with the idea of a bowl game come New Years, that I will hopefully be able to attend.

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