Stories of an American Scouser
In Paris, France

Stories of an American Scouser

Anyone who knows me – even somewhat well – has witnessed my pathetic ability to make decisions. Everything from choosing which scarf matches best with an ensemble to deciding between a latte or cappuccino always ends up being a long, arduous process.

As we all know, college is full of those daunting life decisions. When they began presenting themselves to me, I had more than a little trouble The Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.deciphering my place and the best path for me.

Throughout my first year of college, I relied on others to steer me in the “right” direction. When it came to my major, jobs and extra-curricular involvements I constantly asked my friends and family for their input to avoid my own uncertainty.

Although these conversations usually resulted in some valuable advice, they never encouraged me to fully decide on my own.

As a result, studying abroad for an entire semester was a significant feat with lots of indecisiveness involved. Not only would unfamiliar people surround me, but I would also be living in a much larger city, in a new country, on a completely different continent.

Being a third generation Pointer, Stevens Point was not exactly foreign territory, especially when your older sister lives just a ten-minute walk from your dorm. If I ever had a problem, my comfort zone was close by.

Living completely on my own in Liverpool has been an incredibly eye-opening experience, giving me many opportunities to make decisions entirely on my own and be fully responsible for my well-being.

I have learned how to navigate the city center, use public transportation and become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Although it is intimidating at times, I am completely independent and I feel free.

Last week, my habitual uncertainty became apparent as I began planning my travels during spring break. The list of places I wanted to visit was the length of my twin-size bed, and three weeks was simply not enough time.

I obviously had some delusion I would be seeing the entirety of Europe throughout my five-month stay while studying full-time. I quickly came to the realization that would not be the case and felt anxious.

Study abroad3What if I cannot see everything I want to see? What if I do not get as rich of a study abroad experience as I would like because of it?

Then, I remembered that every situation depends on perspective. I reminded myself that any experience while abroad is one worth having.

True, no matter how much I travel this semester, there will always be more places to explore and experiences to have. But that means I will have to book another trip; which is fine with me.

No matter what the destination, I will always gain something each time I decide to travel during my time studying abroad.

No decision on where to go is necessarily wrong or right because I know I will learn and grow in unexpected ways. Whether or not an experience initially seems valuable, it always is.

So, look out Prague and Vienna, because I’m coming for you.

 

Mary Knight

Reporter

mknig512@uwsp.edu

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