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Eight days. We have eight more days of Fall semester, and for those lucky ones, even fewer. Finals are approaching — a little too quickly, I might add — and the only thing getting me through is the reminder that we have only eight days left until endless holiday festivities and time with friends and family. The troubling part of having only eight days left, however, is just that: we only have eight days left of this semester.
I won’t be returning to Xavier for the Spring semester as I will be studying abroad in Cork, Ireland. As excited as I am to be studying abroad for an entire semester, I only have eight days left.
I’ve lived in some part of Cincinnati for almost 21 years now. I didn’t venture to a new city for college. The longest I have ever left my family was for 27 consecutive days. To be honest and dramatic, sometimes when I actually sit down and think about leaving my dogs for so long, I reconsider my decision to study abroad.
What made me so adamant about packing up my bags and going to Ireland for five months, you may ask? Well, I’ve lived in a bubble for 21 years. Whether that bubble is my comfortable suburb thirty minutes away or the Xavier bubble, I’ve been stuck in a bubble.
I love my bubble here, it’s quite comfortable after all. I am a fortunate woman and I want to make it clear that I am incredibly grateful for my upbringing and how Xavier has become my home. I consider myself one of the luckiest people I know. The friends
I’ve made here are undoubtedly for life, my family is always within arm’s reach and I truly recognize how lucky I am to have an experience like this. I am genuinely happy in Cincinnati and I couldn’t have imagined a better group of people to surround myself with than I have in this community.
That’s the thing though — it’s still in this community. This is my chance to get out of my comfort zone. This is my chance to really be on my own and pop the bubble I’ve been living in.
Before committing to Cork, I went through every scenario I could possibly imagine. What if my friends and I grow apart? What if I hate Cork once I get there? What if on the off chance that Xavier basketball doesn’t choke in March Madness, I’m not there?
But when I stopped and really asked myself what was more important, I realized that all I was doing was making excuses for myself. I had no reason in the world not to go to Cork except for the fact that I was scared, and frankly, that’s just not good enough.
The next five months is a time to leave Cincinnati and leave the only things I’ve ever really known. This is the time in my life where I can afford to take a chance. I’m 21 and I’ve never really been on my own before. I dug up the courage within myself and decided to move across the world for a while.
Now that I’ve finalized it, I realized that I needed it more than I knew I did. If I didn’t choose to study abroad, I would be choosing comfort over growth.
I think that college is the perfect time to challenge yourself, and for me, that challenge is studying abroad. Many of you reading this may have taken a risk by coming to Xavier, even by leaving your hometown and moving to Cincinnati.
But for the other group of you reading this that haven’t ever left your comfort zone, college is the perfect time to try. You have a sense of freedom and the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons. I know that sounds like cheesy advice from a parent, but it’s true. Now is a time for me to pop the bubble I’m so familiar with, and it might be time for you to do the same.
So, I’m going to savor the last eight days that I have here for a while, but I’ll treasure the next five months for a lifetime.
Sydney Sanders is a junior Philosophy, Politics and the Public and political science double major. She is the Head Photo Editor for the Newswire from Cincinnati.