When I woke up this morning in Bristol, Connecticut, I enjoyed a brief moment of pure jubilation that I would be in London the very next day. That glee was swiftly followed by crushing stress about flying for the very first time, whether I had forgotten to pack anything, and whether the TSA would even let me leave the country. The entirety of the car ride to JFK was spent worrying over these details. I was even concerned that the stress induced by going through security would make me stand out as a potential threat. Once there, after checking in my luggage and receiving my boarding pass, the moment I was truly dreading came; saying good bye to my family. Although I had been saying good bye to friends and family over the past week, this was the time to part from my brother, father, and mother, who have been so supportive throughout the entire study abroad process. I knew as soon as I saw my mom cry, I was done for. Her parting words to me were about how much she loved me, and a final reminder that I was there to study abroad, not just have fun. Walking away was difficult, as I left behind the comforting security of home for the unknown future. As I rounded the corner and lost sight of my family, I was reminded of the inner strength their love had given me. I strolled through security confidently and without incident, and located the gate to board my plane with the greatest of ease. When I finally sank down into the cramped, economy seating, all the stress lifted from my shoulders, leaving only the elation I felt that morning before my self-doubt crept in. Now that those doubts have vanished, and I am through working against myself, I feel prepared to embark on this unfamiliar, frightening, wonderful adventure.
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