A Letter to My Past Self: Get Excited to Study Abroad!

Dear Pre-London Emily,

You are going to have the time of your life abroad in London! I know that you’re worried about getting lost on the tube and being away from your dog for a couple of months but the experiences that you will have are like no other.

One thing that you should absolutely know before you embark on your journey is that studying abroad can be just as stressful as studying at Pitt. I really wish that I had taken my internship work into account when I thought about the workload. It can be a lot all thrown at you at once, so make sure to time manage!

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The top of the Shard with Nicole, Rachel, and Deandra!

Another thing that I advise you to do is to only pack clothes that you need. Your suitcase was ridiculously heavy to be carrying up the stairs. Please also do a little more research on what is considered “business casual” for your internship. You’re mostly going to wear nice sweaters and black jeans, so please pack more of those and less of your professional clothes

Guess what? You’re finally going to get to go to Ireland! It’s been a dream of ours since we were little, and you make it happen in the first weekend in April! You get to see the cliffs and breathe the ocean air, and visit a couple of authentic Irish pubs. As close to finals as the trip was, it was extremely relaxing and well-needed before the end of semester stress kicks in.

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The cliffs at Howth in Dublin, Ireland!

You’ll also spend your spring break in Italy, where you’ll eat so much pizza that you’ll actually get sick of it (surprising, I know!). You’ll see the Colosseum so often that it kind-of loses its novelty, and visit Vatican City and see the beauty that is St. Peter’s Basilica. Don’t be afraid to spend all of your money on gelato, it seriously is as delicious as people tell you and it doesn’t taste the same when you try some in London.

One thing that I regret that I didn’t do during my time here was travel more. The biggest tip I can pass on to you is to set up weekend trips for yourself earlier in the semester. While I did get to see a lot of London by not traveling as often, I do have some regrets about not seeing some cities that I vowed to see before I came. Take some time for yourself and go alone if you have to!

You will grow so much through this experience. You’ll get over your weird feelings of traveling alone and go explore places when no one wants to accompany you. You’ll truly learn what it means to stand up for yourself. You’ll even try foods that you would never imagine trying!

Have a blast in London! I’m extremely jealous of you right now – I would give anything to do it all again!

With lots of love,

Emily