Fortune Cookie Says...

Emma Z. Queen Mary University of London, England


August 28, 2014

After a yummy dinner of Chinese food last night, I opened my fortune cookie expecting another dumb, meaningless fortune to accompany the latest edition to my Chinese vocabulary. When I read it aloud to my mom, she thought I was making it up because it was so utterly appropriate for these last few weeks before departing for my semester abroad in London. It read, “Traveling this year will bring your life into greater perspective.”

I have never been out of the United States aside from Niagara Falls, which hardly counts, and Aruba, which was absolutely amazing but not much different than a beach vacation would be during a New England summer aside from the warm, bright blue water. I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life and go to college about 40 minutes south of my house, so it’s safe to say I have never really stepped outside of my comfort zone. The opportunity to study abroad seemed like the perfect time to do just that, and maybe take a few classes while I’m there!

Honestly, I did not research many different places to study and kind of chose London as the default English speaking city, with a culture most similar to Boston. I chose Queen Mary University because it has an actual campus, helping relieve some uncertainties about public transportation and city living, which I haven’t had too much experience with in the past.

Packing is well underway as I slowly take over more and more rooms in house with piles of clothes and other stuff. For me, the key to packing lightly is being organized and having a list of things I need to work off of as I quickly fill the limited space available in my 2 bags.

It’s difficult for me to say what I am most excited or nervous about. I guess all of the unknowns are a little unsettling, from not knowing my flatmates to having never traveled anywhere alone; but embracing the fact that I can’t control everything in my life is a good skill to work on.

My goal in the next 4 months is to take every opportunity I can to do something new, meet new people, step out of my comfort zone, and fully embrace wherever my adventures may take me!