“There’s only so much preparation you can do for a chapter of unknowns”.
A friend reminded me of this subtle, yet powerful, phrase the other day. Her wisdom came shortly after I explained the lingering, paradoxical feelings of nerves and excitement that have grown as the number of days that I have left in the US dwindle into the single digits. And, as much as I don’t like to admit that I’m wrong… she was right.
Traveling and adapting to new places is something that I have grown to become familiar with (even as I’m writing this, I am adapting back to home life in New Jersey after living and working in Washington D.C. for the last 8 months). Yet, each time I gear up for my next adventure, there is a faint voice in the back of my mind that reminds me, “you are going to do something you haven’t done before, you will encounter things that you haven’t seen”.
I must be frank, I like to plan. I like to know what will happen, and when, how to get from Point A to Point B, and what to expect in certain scenarios… if I am more frank, I will admit that I have been binging Swiss culture videos to learn about things that I may encounter in Switzerland. It is because of the pre-departure planning that makes this transition – from attending a college that I have come to know and love, to pursuing my academic passions with SIT’s International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy program in Geneva, Switzerland – intimidating to think about. There is a significant amount of change and unfamiliarity, meaning that there is only so much I can plan for.
But, the precise element of entering the unknown makes me excited. Because of this, I am encouraged to entertain the possibilities of who I will meet, what I will see, and where I will be led. Adopting this perspective of optimism, I remind myself that with each new, unexpected experience and interaction, I will be challenged to learn, grow, and understand more about Switzerland… and myself.
Though there is only so much preparation I can do for a chapter of unknowns, I welcome these opportunities with open arms and am looking forward to the impact they will have on my academic and personal pursuits.