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  • Writer's pictureJacqueline Oiga

A Whirlwind Of Doing

[IMG: Sunset Over Big Ben]
Photo Courtesy of iStock Royalty Free Images

Hello and welcome to the very first post of my blog! Although this is something I've always wanted to do in general, I'm very excited to kickstart it as my intern abroad blog! While I plan on documenting my trip mainly through vlogging, this blog will serve as an additional resource for me to share my thoughts and my experiences.

I believe if you join as a member of my blog community somewhere in the top corner, you can sign up for notifications of new posts, as well as interact with posts. However, I'll be posting a link to every new post on my existing social media, so you can just look out for it there!

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This summer I'll be participating in an Internship Abroad program in London, UK. As I am about to enter my fourth year of my undergraduate Marketing BSc degree, I am very delighted to be working with a top, global Marketing and PR company.

I'll be working in the UK with my abroad program for eight weeks. From there, I'll be able to travel around Europe, including a Mediterranean tour with Contiki and hopefully a solo trip or two. I'll hit up London (this time as a full tourist!) for a few days and then fly back to sweet home Chicago just before the fall semester starts up again.

I chose London for reasons that are completely arbitrary yet simple: I've always wanted to go. There's also more practical reasons; I wanted to be able to work in my native language, I wanted somewhere bigger than Chicago (for the self-challenge, of course), I wanted somewhere that provided opportunity paralleled to my career goals.

But I've always wanted to go abroad to the UK, even before I changed my major. I actually have a Google Doc from high school that's just research and information about studying abroad in London. Everything from cost breakdowns to weekend trips to cafes I wanted to visit. This has always been the dream.

I also chose the intern route, rather than the study route. As a rising fourth year, I've already completed my GenEd requirements and really should be using my summer to intern, anyway, so it made the most sense to go this route. I think it also provides a better segue for immersion into local culture, with has always been an important factor for me.

It seems pretty clear cut and typical but it's honestly a huge dream come true for me and it's still a little surreal. It's only just recently hit me that it's actually happening, and, well, I'm kind of caught in the whirlwind of it.

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Today is Saturday, May 26 and I have six days before I board my flight to the UK. I'm anxious, sure, but it's mostly overridden with that buzz of excitement, the type that you can feel swirling in you chest and in the pit of your stomach. It's that kind that gets you antsy, makes you just want to do do do, to over-prepare, to do anything as long as it has to do with your upcoming trip.

There's lots of weird stuff I've done in anticipation. As soon as I received my housing assignment, I spent at least an hour on Google Street View, virtually strolling through my soon-to-be neighborhood. I spent another looking at public transportation, stalking the bus lines and Tube stops near my house and my workplace.

I've already set up my Amazon UK account, made sure I could get Amazon Fresh and Prime Now, because I've somehow become spoiled by those services at home, thank god I'll be able to get them abroad. I've checked out Deliveroo and UberEATS for my London address, imagined what I'd probably be ordering after late nights out when my fridge is empty (this is a common occurrence during the school year, I don't have a single doubt that it's a bad habit that'll follow me to Europe).

And yeah, these things seem so strange when I think about it, but who can blame me? I have an itch of anticipation, of an I'm ready, let's go calling for me. I'm nowhere near ready to start packing but my suitcases are laid out in my dining room, various articles of clothings (including the Dress Specifically For Greece I bought almost a year ago) thrown haphazardly around various chairs.

I'm in the mindset. My head, at least, is ready to go.

The rest of me? Not so much.

It's kind of funny because I've had this planner since January. It usually goes unused unless I'm feeling particularly stressed out about All The Things I Need To Do, so basically just around sorority recruitment, midterms, finals, and lately, my internship abroad. I've always admired people who go full out and create "planner spreads" with stickers and colorful pens but I've never really gotten into it. Now here's the funny part: I'm honestly so stressed out about this upcoming prep week that my "spread" is the nicest my panner has ever looked.

As for any trip, I have a lot of things to do, people to meet up with, errands to run. Every box for each day is jammed full of appointments and things to do. And of course the list of lunch dates, just to make sure I see all my favorite people from home one last time before I go. Alright, I know that sounds dramatic, but I'm going to miss them, okay?

This is also the first time I'm going to be so far away from home for this long. My university is a twenty minute drive from my hometown, my apartment right now is five from my parents' house. I've always had that safety net -- be it I need help or I forgot something or just need a hug, honestly -- so it's a little scary when I think about being halfway across the world on my own. This upcoming week is the last I have to prepare everything (including myself) to make sure I can make it on my own.

And I know I will, in the end. I know I'll figure it all out and maybe learn a thing or two along the way, but it's a little daunting. I never truly had the full "going away to college" experience. Is this what that's like? Weird.

But for today, I'm enjoying a day off before the whirlwind of doing really begins. Call it mental preparation, if you will.

So sure, I'm stressed out and a little anxious, but I'm mostly just excited for the adventure to begin! Thanks so much for checking out my blog here and I hope to share more of my thoughts experiences with you soon. Get ready because it's going to be A Ride!

xoxo, jacqueline


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