Travel Journal: France
I write this from my room—a new room—on the Centre College campus in Danville, Kentucky. I'm trying to make sense of the last 100 days of my life. On February 11, I boarded a plane headed for Strasbourg, France. Today, I've moved back onto campus and I'm preparing to start my summer job.
In the weeks prior to our departure for Strasbourg, my girlfriend Emily asked, “Are you excited to be going abroad for three months?” I replied, “Yeah...I am.” She was upset with me because, while the rest of our Strasbourg classmates were as excited as children on Christmas Eve, I seemed distant and nonchalant concerning the opportunities to come. I was excited but there were other things occupying my brain in the days and weeks before February 11. I still had to take the final exam in Dr. Benjamin Knoll's CentreTerm class. I was registered to take the LSAT on February 9, but had no real time to study because of the intensity of Dr. Knoll's class. I was worried about packing enough clothes and I didn't know if I was mentally prepared for the weather. I was concerned about my family for many reasons. And I was nervous about arranging a summer job and lining up an internship while living 4000 miles away with no telephone access.
Despite all my anxiety, February 11 still came. I took the final in Dr. Knoll's class and was proud when I learned that my final grade in the course was an A-. I took the LSAT and was so relieved upon completion that I forgot that I would receive my score via email while in France. I packed and readied myself for the weather as I boarded the plane. That's when it hit me.
“Shoot,” I said, looking at Emily. “We're going to France. I'm going to France.”
At this point, we were stuck in a massive aluminum glider some 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. I realized that, even if I wanted to renege on my commitment to study in Strasbourg, I couldn't. So, I watched the in-flight movies offered by Air France and tried to contain my uneasiness. I was tired and I was nervous. Before I knew it, I had been escorted to an apartment in Strasbourg and reality set in.
I asked myself, “How did I get here? Why am I here?”
These started as quick questions that qualified my status as a student in Strasbourg. But I used these questions to guide me through the rest of the term as I fought to understand my place in the world.
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