2015 Spring Tara Benner Temple Rome

The Wait is Over

Applications, nervousness, confidence, acceptances, excitement, apprehension, and more excitement: that can pretty much sum up my preparation to study abroad, but for those of you who were not with me every step of the way to experience those emotions as I did, I will explain further.

Of course this story starts with applications, and yes that is applicationS – with an ‘s’. Not only did I apply for the study abroad program itself, but I applied for a scholarship from Temple University and the Gilman scholarship to hopefully help fund my trip abroad.

Then the nervousness started to sink in: were my essays good enough? Did I spell my name correctly on the application? I have been spelling my name for twenty years, but I am sure that this would be the one time since first grade that I would mess that up. The amount of ridiculous questions that overtook the space in my mind was endless.

The nerves transformed into a form of confidence that I did not expect.  Of course, the thought of my potentially misspelled name was in the back of my head, but the realization occurred that there’s nothing I can do about it; if I put my name down as Tars Brenner, so be it. Maybe they would accept her into the program, but only time could tell. The waiting game drove me crazy, especially because my level of patience is comparable to that of a nine year old; however, I knew hours were put into my essays, and I was confident in my writing.

After weeks of awaiting a response, I read the word ‘approved’ from Temple Rome. From first site of that spectacular a-word, excitement took over. I was ready to board a plane to Europe that second. Thoughts of authentic pasta, moonlit walks, and beautiful art were all I could think of, even days after my acceptance.

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(It turns out that I spelled my name correctly!)

Unfortunately, the excitement wore off and surely enough, apprehension became the overarching emotion. Three months away from family and friends sounded like an astronomical amount of time, especially because I have four nieces and nephews in the states that are growing and changing every day, and a majority of my friends will still be together doing a bunch of fun things; if you can’t tell, the fear of missing out was definitely a factor in my anxiety about being away.

Luckily, I have the most supportive group of family and friends that a girl could ask for. Never once did they doubt my ability to gracefully handle my semester away. Constantly they remind me that they will still be in the states waiting to hear all the amazing stories that I will have when I get off the plane. Of course I still have apprehensions, and I am nervous, but I am so incredibly excited for this chance of a lifetime.

Goodbye United States and hello Rome!

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