The other day, my dad called me to interrogate me about my sophomore year (a common occurrence). He asked the regular questions, like how my classes are, what I’ve been up to in my clubs and job, and how my friends are. But then he asked me a question that freshman-year-me would have considered a no-brainer, but one that left current-me in a state of total confusion: “Have you thought about going abroad next year?”
Of course I had thought about going abroad – for awhile, I considered it to be a natural part of my college experience; I would go to college, spend 7 semesters on campus, and get the once in a lifetime opportunity of going to another country for 1 semester. This was just something I always wanted, something that seemed to tie together the dream college experience of “finding yourself” and becoming more worldly. Yet, when my dad asked this question, I found myself hesitating. It wasn’t because I thought I couldn’t go abroad. In fact, in a meeting with my Writing Seminars advisor just days earlier, I was really encouraged to go abroad to get the most out of my major. Rather, I suddenly did not know if I wanted to. Not because I didn’t want to “find myself” or become more ~worldly~, but because I had this overwhelming realization that I just did not want to leave Hopkins for a semester.
Honestly, this may sound crazy to you. How could someone want to pass up an opportunity to study virtually anywhere in the world, just to stay in the same place? Frankly, it sounds crazy to me too. But this overwhelming feeling simply will not leave. So, in order to decide whether or not I should go abroad next year, I’ve decided to do what all indecisive people do: make a pros and cons list.
Evidently, there are reasons to stay at Hopkins, and there are reasons to go abroad. At the end of the day, I think that going abroad is an amazing experience that I will only get once in my life, and I know I should take advantage of that. However, this process has helped me realize how much I love being at Hopkins, and how excited I am for the rest of my time on this wonderful campus. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone — I feel lucky to know exactly what I’ve got while I’m still here. And I have every intention of taking full advantage of that for my next 2.5 years in Baltimore.