Welcome to the Journey

Scholarship. Full ride. In this broken-down economy, those words are basically every college-bound student’s dream.

It was all sorts of awkward, hearing the collective gasp that went through the auditorium when my French professor announced my scholarship. Especially since I was standing uncomfortably on the stage, wearing a dress paired with old boots—for whatever reason, it was kind of chilly for May, so I’d chosen to wear tights. Which wouldn’t fit in my flats. Hence the boots, which I figured were more appropriate than battered red Converse.

But I’m lucky enough to say that, for me, a fully-funded scholarship isn’t a dream. It’s reality—at least for a year. For newbies reading this blog, I’ll be going to France to study at the University of Nice for my junior year. My airplane leaves on September 1, 2014, and I get back to the states on May 3, 2015. As for winter break, I’m staying in France so that I (hopefully) can travel Europe, which I’m absolutely thrilled about. Traveling to a bunch of countries that I’ve always wanted to visit? No overprotective parents? Heck yes. Sign me up.

I can’t pinpoint when or how I became a Francophile, but here I am, majoring in French while teachers, parents, friends, and even I thought that I’d be majoring in English. Although I’m pretty good with words, I still have no idea how to explain why I decided to major in French. I went into college with a vague intention of majoring in English, but I guess I’ve always had this sort of inexplicable pull toward French? Because in 6th grade, despite people repeatedly insisting that Spanish was more useful, I chose to learn French. I still don’t know why. Okay, maybe I was influenced by a couple of friends who told me that the teacher was awesome. Maybe I thought that France was more interesting than Spain. Or maybe I’ve stuck with the language because every single French teacher and professor I’ve had is amazingly nice and has actually understood that I’m shy. Regardless, over the years, I’ve developed an interest in writing and foreign languages, and I hope that studying abroad in Nice will give me the chance to further develop my passions.

Other than the 100 emails I sent and the 50 forms I had to fill out, and the 2-hour wait at the French Consulate, I’m excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It does suck that I have to leave behind my friends and family (and, well, basically everything that I’ve ever known), but hey, aren’t humans known for adapting?