After months of anticipation, fear, and excitement, the day has finally come. Today I leave for Scotland. I can honestly say that since I received my acceptance letter last spring, I have gone through more emotions than I thought possible. My roommate can attest to the fact that I had a legitimate breakdown in our room last May where I burst into tears because 9 months away from William & Mary seemed centuries-long. But after a summer of investigating pictures and videos of campus traditions, talking to friends who’d been there and mentally preparing myself for the change, I can honestly say that I am so ready to go.
Sometimes I do feel like going abroad is something that I’m forcing myself to do because I know I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t do it. Yes, I can say that I have had the incredible privilege of traveling across the world with my family, but how can I really prove that I am worldly and daring if I’m never going to do it on my own? I intend on living abroad for some portion of my life, so I should give it a test run, right? I know seeing pictures of the new Kappa Deltas and tweets about Swem-ming late into the night will be hard, but no matter what, I’ll be back in January. Plus, it has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life between saying bye to my W&M friends, temporarily thinking that my cat was going to be put to sleep, breaking my phone, and having to hug my family members goodbye (that part hasn’t happened yet but I am 100% sure that I’m going to be hysterical); I think a change of scenery will be good.
Right now I’m packing up the last of my things, which by the way, was seriously difficult. If you know anything about me, then you know that deciding what clothes and shoes to bring was no small feat. I also had a moment of panic when I was out to dinner with my mom last night where it fully dawned on me that I was actually going to be living in another country and away from home for the longest period of time in my entire life. My mom’s response was the story of how she came to the US, taking a three day trip by herself from Iran to Spain, spending her senior year of high school on the southern coast of Spain with other young Iranians and then coming to college in the US and bouncing around between schools until she found her way. My mom always tells me that life is an adventure that you have to be willing to experience, and by the end of that story I wanted nothing more than to be able to really know what that means. It was just what I needed to hear the night before I left.
Here’s to never saying no to new adventures in what I hope to be some of the best months of my life!
Darya ’14 is a double major in Environmental Policy and Public Health. Darya hails from Arlington, VA but this semester she’s studying abroad at the University of St Andrews. When Darya’s not off exploring the UK, she is a W&M campus tour guide, a member of the photography club and in a social sorority, among many other things.