I have never attended a large school; I graduated with 74, and now my class at Olin is just barely bigger than that. Not only that, but my job the last two summers has been with a company with 9 employees. My hometown has a population of just under 8,000, and Needham's not really much better with its 29,000 (thanks, Wikipedia).

Even with all of this, though, I was shocked when I found out today that my study abroad program has less than 30 students enrolled. I knew it was on the smaller side, but 30? This set off an explosion of nerves.

Will I make friends? Sure, I was totally pumped to hopefully not hang out with Americans the whole time, but honestly, my Italian is still in the "I can tell you I'm hungry" stages. Not the best basis for a friendship. Even at Olin, I came in knowing people, having met them at Candidates' Weekend. This time, I'll find out my roommates a week before I leave, and I'll get my class schedule when I arrive. There's no planning, there's just doing. Plus, for the life of me I can't remember what I put for the neatmessy scale on the roommate form and this frightens me greatly.

Can I manage in a foreign country? I've gotten better at managing money, thanks to some near-scares with my bank account this summer. This is a whole new place, though. I'm not used to having to think about locks, thieves, and losing my passport. I mean, maybe Boston driving is a little bit European in terms of anger and recklessness, but I don't think that I've quite graduated to being ready.getting_ready.jpg

What will happen if I am as terrible at packing as I usually am? I am *terrible* at packing. Just plain awful. I overpack to no tomorrow, but then I'll forget pajamas and a hairbrush. I don't know how I'm going to pack for the next few months, with no quick drive home to get everything I forgot. I need documents, adapters, clothes for changing seasons... Plus, I have to deal with the fact that after Dec. 19th, I'll be lugging everything I have with me around various countries in Europe.

What if I don't get into Hat Making? This would be by far the most tragic of all. In all seriousness, I really want my schedule to work out correctly. Granted, I love almost every kind of art there is, but I've become really attached to the classes I put down as my first choice. Hopefully with so few students they won't resort to cutting an unpopular class. I don't know how these things work.

Usually I'm better than this- but this is making me wonder if maybe that was only because moving to college was moving 20 minutes away. I'm sure I'll make it, in the end, but for now I'm playing what-if scenarios over and over in my head. Luckily (or unluckily- why am I so terrible at packing?), I don't have too long left. I have 6 days left of work, then I move out of my apartment (I will miss JP and the delicious City Feed sandwiches), go to California to visit another Oliner for a week, frantically pack for a week, and arrive in Zurich and then Florence on September 1st.

I guess I'll just have to remember to breathe.


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