Kind of Stressed, Mostly Blessed

Brenna McDonald University College Dublin, Ireland


September 28, 2015

Has it really been almost a month since I landed in Ireland?! As cliche as it sounds, time has simply flown by since I’ve been in this lovely little country.

My first month abroad brought me so many changes and new experiences, which were undoubtedly exciting, but also a bit overwhelming. I think I, along with many other students who go abroad, expected things to be perfect and dreamy from the beginning, like something out of a movie, but that wasn’t exactly the case. I’ve had countless people tell me that studying abroad is “amazing” and “life-changing” but they kind of forgot to mention it’s also difficult, nerve-wracking, and pretty stressful at first.

I mean, seriously – being dropped into a new country with a totally different culture is not exactly easy. In fact, it’s really challenging. And yet, Ireland is just so charming that I didn’t seem to mind the challenges; I welcomed them.

Because when you’re in a new country and don’t have a clue what you’re doing, you have no choice but to swallow your pride and realize that two things are inevitable:

  1. You will need to ask for help more often than you think, and;
  2. You will make a fool of yourself more times than you’d prefer.

That’s just the way it is. But you know, once you accept your ultimate tourist status and start to embrace it, you’re golden!

And let me just say, one of the best parts about being new in Ireland is that it’s perfectly okay to make a complete fool of yourself. No, seriously. Regardless of how embarrassing my mistakes have been, the Irish people have been willing to laugh it off and help me however they can, which has made this rocky transition a little less stressful and a lot more fun.

I’ve learned so much so far, and I know Ireland still has a lot to teach me. Although it’s been a bit of a challenging month, I am totally grateful for every opportunity I’ve had so far, excited for the opportunities that await me, and completely amazed that I get to call this country home – if only for a little while!