276. That’s how many hours I have until I leave for Copenhagen.  That’s 12 more nights left to cuddle with my two puppies, Baker and Fred.  Or 24 more morning cups of coffee.  Or about 594 times I’ll be able to tell my momma I love her in person until she comes and visits me.

I’m nervous that it’ll be hard to make new friends.  I’m scared people at Wofford are going to forget about me.  I’m terrified that something awful will happen back home and I won’t be able to return fast enough.  More importantly though, I’m proud of myself for taking such a big leap of faith.  And excited that I’m going to get to travel so much and immerse myself in the Danish culture.  And giddy at the thought of how life changing an experience this journey that I am about to embark on will be.

As I begin preparing for the upcoming semester, I have been feeling an overwhelming sense of deja vu.  Before I began my freshman year at Wofford, my mom began buying things like she was preparing for the apocalypse (I still have enough shaving cream to supply a small nation).  It’s been much of the same thing as I begin to pack for Copenhagen…I think it’s my mom’s way of coping with me leaving the comfort and familiarity of Columbia, South Carolina.  I now have enough sweaters to survive another Ice Age (even though the weather is somewhat similar to the weather here) and more safety equipment than a Boy Scout leader.  My mom and I handle stress in very different ways, so while she has been making list after list of everything I still need to do before I leave, I have been busy on Pinterest trying to figure out where all I would like to visit and pretending like I am totally ready for Copenhagen.

The only real thing I have done in order to get ready for the next four months is read up on blogs from past DIS students.  A lot of the students addressed some frequently asked questions in their first blog post, so I figured I would try to take a whack at it.

Let’s start out with some basics, like why I chose Copenhagen.  Up until February, I had been telling people that I wanted to spend my fall semester in Copenhagen, which was located in Amsterdam, so it is clear that geography is not my strong point.  However, that *small* mistake showed how little I previously knew about Copenhagen, which was one of the reasons I was so drawn to this city.  I like taking the path less traveled and going to places that I might not visit without programs like DIS.  I’m also a philosophy major and was interested in finding a program that would provide me with the best opportunities to learn more in this field.  There were not many places that offered a rigorous philosophy program, but even if there had been, I believe I still would have chosen Copenhagen because through the core course that I am enrolled in, I will get to spend a week in Greece studying some of the greatest philosophical minds of all time.  HOW COOL IS THAT?!?! Sorry for the all caps, I just can’t hide my excitement!

The only question that is as annoying as being a high school senior and having people ask you where you’ll be going to college is being a college student about to leave for a foreign country and having people ask you where will you be living?  To put it simply, I have ABSOLUTELY no idea and that scares the crap out of me.  We are supposed to find out August 5th, so fingers crossed there are only three more days left of uncertainty.  I like to feel prepared and organized, but I guess this waiting game is helping me get used to not knowing what to expect.

Now here’s a question that only close friends and family have asked me…it goes a little something like “Oh, Summie! You’re birthday is on August 30th! How are you going to celebrate?”  My answer to that is that I will be celebrating much in the same way that I celebrated my birthday two years ago, when I had just stepped onto Wofford’s campus and had only one friend.  I’m not a fan of my birthday; the attention makes me nervous and there are too many high expectations.  Thankfully though, I’ll have my best friend, Carson, studying in Copenhagen with me, and she always knows how to have a good time and make me happy.  I’m also really hoping that I find some friends by then that will be willing (and if not willing, forced) to go out to dinner or something with us.

The thoughts that are racing through my mind right now are such a whirlwind.  One minute I’m wondering why it’s been taking so long for the long-awaited date to come.  The next minute I’m wishing time would slow down so I could continue working to save up some more money, and still have time left to hangout with my best friends.  One thing has remained constant throughout this journey though, and that is that I am 100% confident that I am about to have the best 3,179 hours of my life in one of the happiest countries on earth.

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