I walked past the flyer every day for 3.5 years. I got e-mails about it. I had several friends, even roommates go. But to each of them and to all of it, I stuck my nose up and said, “Study abroad in London? No thank you.” There were a number of reasons why I didn’t think I wanted to go. First being fear. I was afraid to leave such a comfortable place, a place where I felt loved and had tons of friends. I was afraid of living in another country because all I’d known my whole life was life in America. I put myself in a box. I saw pictures of the people that went to London and I always thought to myself: “They’re so adventurous. I’m not like that. I’m not like them. I could never do that.”
I was sitting at a computer one day, Spring of 2014, looking at my degree audit and looking at the flyer for the London Study abroad program that I had nervously picked up. I walked into my professor’s office and uttered the words: “I think I want to go to London next year.” You know how you say something and it feels it wasn’t you who said it, like it was some strange new person you never met? Well, that was my first introduction to the new Marlie. I got to know her more in London. She spoke up that day. She talked her parents into considering London. She wrote, edited and defended her thesis early so that she could be good to go to London in the Spring of 2015. The other Marlie spent hours googling things like “10 reasons to study abroad” or “what are the best and worst things about london?” She also spent a great deal of time talking with friends who had gone to London, asking them silly questions. Then, Marlie, went to her professor’s office and asked one more question: Is it worth it? Giving up my last semester on campus to go to London? Will I regret it?
To which she responded “I’ve never had a student regret it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
That’s the day that new Marlie became me.
A year later, 3 months in London behind me. I’ve never been more thankful for that day I picked up that flyer I walked past so many times that said “Study abroad in London: Spring 2015.