Molto Moderato

Jessica Santosa St. Andrews, Scotland


March 21, 2023

Harvey Mudd College, East Dorm October 2023

What do you do when your dreams come true? I think the past couple of weeks has given me some time to process the news, and honestly? I was elated for maybe two seconds when I learned I was accepted to study abroad, and then I was back to the nail-biting. Maybe I’d been watching too much Sandman but a Gaiman quote comes to mind: "The price of getting what you want is getting what you once wanted". For me, the truth was that I wanted the study abroad experiences from my mom's stories. I wanted to be excited about traveling the world. And maybe it's just my paranoia, but now that I know I am going I can’t help but wonder – what if I don't enjoy it? What if my time abroad completely fails my expectations and I end up absolutely hating every second?  What if all my time and effort and sacrifice have been wasted on something I'll find useless and pedantic? What IF?

Only time will tell really, and in the meantime, I'm glad that they're keeping me busy. 

The onboarding process is so much paperwork.

Between Arcadia's paperwork, my home school’s paperwork, and my own personal preparations, I think I'm halfway to being the cause of rainforest decimation. 

The other thing -- I didn't mean to tell a lot of people that I was going abroad. I told a couple of my close friends, and my lab mates knew because I got slightly unhinged during the final part of the application process. And more than half the chem department professors know because I have to get approval signatures from 15 billion different authority figures, and then some more professors know because I needed recommendation letters. Oh, and my orchestra professors know because I needed to tell them why they wouldn't see my face next semester. And goodness knows how many people my parents have told. 

I didn’t mean to tell the world but the conclusion is: a lot of people know. I blame it on the paperwork.

Next on the agenda will be the housing paperwork, transportation arrangements, and the barebone beginnings of a packing list.


Pre-Departure Scotland