There are three more days until I leave for my trip. I can’t believe it! It feels like yesterday that I was being interviewed and was chosen to go to Columbia!
It hadn’t really hit me that I was leaving my comfort zone until last Thursday, when I said goodbye to my co-workers that were also going on vacation. It sank into my head that it was almost time to leave when they asked “when are you returning?” and I replied “in about a month…” Almost a month without my family, friends, my bed, my grandmother’s cooking, my dog, and most importantly, the comfort that I have in my own home. As I started to pack I realized that this is what it’s going to be like next year when I really go off to college, packing and saying my goodbyes to people I wouldn’t be seeing in a while. It also sparked excitement in me that everything I will be experiencing is new. New places, new people, new perspectives. It will be something new to look forward to.
As I packed, I realized that it’s not so easy to pack for a trip like this. You need a broad range of clothes, like fancy formal clothes for dinners, clothes appropriate for tours, appropriate for class, and some to go sight-seeing in. I thought I knew what I needed to pack. Yes, I was wrong. I had to email my chaperone probably at least four times to ask for her advice on what to pack. The airport isn’t helping at all with all of the restrictions on luggage weight it has made.
I’ve made a list of places I want to visit while in New York City. It has a lot to offer a young person with the willingness to adventure into the world. The museums are endless there, but I would like to visit in particular the Smithsonian and El Museo Del Barrio. I’d also like to visit Ground Zero, Central Park, and the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. Last year’s record was 54 hot dogs! I wonder if they can break it this year. Of course, this isn’t my whole list of things to see. Things might pop up on the plane ride there!
As the day creeps closer and closer, I become more and more nervous. I’m excited to see one of the greatest cities in the world and some of the greatest universities in the country.