Okay fine, it felt like 5o hours as I slept nothing the day before I left for England. It was on of the most strenuous days of my life, yet exciting and happy all the more. I wanted to study abroad during the second semester of my junior year, yet because of my lack of faith in God and myself, I often talked myself out of the idea. Financial Aid at my school was being sketchy and the whole program seemed definitely out of my reach, which kind of made me sad to think about the matter for a while. Yet, I kept praying. Sometimes I would give up on my plans to study abroad and sometimes I research for scholarships and ways to get there. I was not always consistent, this messed me up… but one day, I finally decided. I made up my mind to strive to be in England by the end of January and kept pushing for ways to get there.
It was November and I made a go-fund-me account and just became determined. I am usually not a person who sticks with things or follows through with them but I couldn’t be happier that I stuck with this blessed idea. The time from when I decided until I left was quite stressful. My airline ticket was purchased a week before my departure, the funds in my go-fund-me account had to be used for some other emergency, and I nearly didn’t make it here. So for that month and a half, nearly every day felt like a long 50-hour day as I pressed for money, talked to my teachers, had things signed, and communicated with the teachers and programme (that’s how the word program is spelled here) coordinators in Newbold College.
Saturday night, on January 21st, I had a farewell party. It was marvelous and I felt beyond great. I didn’t fly from home, I flew from Alabama. It would have been nice to say goodbye to my family at the same time as everyone else as well… Anyhow, we went to Wal-Mart after we closed the Sabbath and I was buying some travel necessities. Doggone, Natalie started rushing me! “Why the flip are you rushing me?! I know I’m slow, but you never rush me!” I was starting to suspect something was up, she was accidentally dropping hints of a farewell party throughout the week, so I started being obnoxious in the store. “Ay.” I glanced over to see if she was paying any attention to me. “Ay pero, que hambreee!” She looked at me funny then just said, “oh.” I said, “Natalie, I’m going to get some ravioli, I’m famished!” She then proceeded to protest with her face and replied, “Eh, let’s just wait… I mean do what you want.” and with that, she gently shoved me to the cash register.
When we arrived at the apartment I heard giggling behind the door, I was excited! Once I opened up, there was a long 5-second silence then everyone yelled SURPRISE! My first thought was how I wished my little sister was with me in that moment.(: The party went on and on until the wee hours of the morning. We played various games and snacked until we were stuffed. The decorations were beautiful. It was Sadly for me, the last few people left at 3 am and we left for the Nashville airport at 5am that morning. Twas the end of an overly happy night and the beginning of the longest day of my entire existence.