The University of Iowa

Packing nightmares

February 4th, 2016

Shannon Wright, originally from Iowa City, Iowa, is a junior at the University of Iowa. The English major will be spending her semester in Prague on the USAC Studies in the Czech Republic program.

Me trying to pack

Me trying to pack

You know that emotion between excitement and terror?

Where you are so excited for tomorrow to begin that you can’t sleep but, at the same time you hide under your covers because you just want to stay in bed forever and not have to face tomorrow?

That would be the word to describe my emotional state right now. It’s only two days before I leave for Prague and I am now scrambling to pack everything I need.

The word “frantic” doesn’t seem to accurately describe me right now. Do I bring my straightener? How much is too much clothing for 4 months abroad? Do I have enough deodorant or can I just buy some more there? What’s the weight limit for suitcases? So many questions and things to do.  My room looks like a pack of wild beasts just decided to roam through it and my mother is starting to worry that I won’t be able to get everything done before I leave… Suffice to say, it’s a mess.

I just found my passport the other day and was so relieved because I was just about ready to mount a full scale search on my entire room. But, to ease some of my stress, I did make a short list of things that I decided that I don’t need to pack after thorough discussion with myself:

  1. Board games
  2. Figurines of any kind
  3. My entire wardrobe
  4. All the makeup that I own
  5. Gift Cards to Target

The list didn’t get very far but it actually helped me pack some things that were more essential to my stay in Prague.

Now, after worrying so much about packing, I find that when I actually have a chance to sit down and think about the next few days, I am extremely excited. Only on the surface where I have to think about packing, flights, and passports, am I truly nervous. Deep down, I am excited. That might sound kind of cheesy but it’s true. I am really anxious about getting everything right on the way to Prague. Like, making sure I pack everything I need and catching all my flights on time. But, I know that once I actually arrive it will be great. I have spent the last week or so looking at pictures of Prague. Pictures of where I am going to be living, some of the big historical sites, and Charles University. I’ve been going through all my departure documents making sure I have everything printed out I need and want. Sometimes it makes my head spin but, in a good, excitement mixed with terror kind of way.

Now, I’m not sure if I am going to remember to pack everything I need, or catch all my flights on time. (Even though I really hope that happens.) But, I do know that this excitement mixed with terror is normal. Maybe, I am slightly more nervous than the average student because I have never flown out of the country before but, still some nerves are real. And I’ve decided that it’s okay to be nervous. As long as I don’t lose the excitement that brought me here.