A Brighton Diary: What do I do now?

Note: This is the eleventh and final part in the series chronicling my study abroad trip in Brighton, England. I am joined on this trip by my classmates and friends Cassie JenkinsClaire RobertsonVy NguyenJhocelyn AlvaradoMorgan CollierAbigail Pennington and Susan Salvo, led by director of student publications, Andy Coughlan.

Now we reflect.

This trip marked a lot of firsts for me — my first time on a plane, my first time leaving the U.S., my first time away from home and my family for an extended period of time, etc.

It was something I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do. Traveling isn’t cheap and I don’t have the money lying around to fly to England whenever I want. But against all odds, this worked out for me. And I’m forever grateful for it.

I’ve always known that I wanted to travel the world before I settled in one place, and I knew that I would find places that were incredible but I just always figured that nothing would ever compare to America.

As kids, we’re taught that America is No. 1 and we’re inundated with the mantra that the U.S. is the greatest place on earth. I don’t want to say that isn’t true, but after leaving America for a little bit, I was able to appreciate that there are other places out there that are just as great. Maybe even better.

I can’t pinpoint my favorite part of the trip — every single thing we did was exciting and new, and I learned something each step of the way.

I’m already planning my return to Brighton — I’ve officially become that person that starts their sentences with, “When I was studying abroad in England….” And I am not ashamed of that.

Everyone says that college can provide you with opportunities of a lifetime and unforgettable experiences, and until now, I hadn’t really found those.

I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about going on a study abroad trip to do it. One-hundred percent. Meet with a financial aid advisor and plan out how you can afford the trip — that’s what I had to do.

Do whatever it takes, because, trust me, you won’t want to miss out.

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