psalm_onethirtyone: (Therefore Be Free)
[personal profile] psalm_onethirtyone
So I have pretty much been scared miserable about study abroad for the whole semester now--for a number of reasons, some of which are: the people I am supposed to be in contact with in Greece never respond to anything; there have been a number of changes at the study abroad office here in the U.S. that have mostly resulted in nothing being communicated to me unless I show up at the office and camp on their doorstep and make their lives hell; there is no insurance for psychological medical conditions available for study abroad; I am the only person from my school going to Greece; the requirements for getting a Visa are absolutely psychotic and require me making a trip to New York City, as well as getting fingerprinted and FBI record-checked; going abroad will require me to graduate a year late from college as I would be unable to fit in all my major requirements by senior year--none of which even takes into consideration the social aspects which I am also terrified of. Also, my advisor, the Dean, my therapist, AND the psychiatrist all have suggested that I am mentally unprepared to go abroad without support, so I have been trying desperately to reach mental equilibrium so that I can be cleared, but it hasn't been happening.

So finally yesterday I went to see my advisor and told him all this and how much I was worried and scared and asked him for his advice, and he pretty much went "lol well. I think you already know what you want me to say, because you know what you want; I think that you just can't give yourself permission, you need an authority figure to give you that permission instead."

And I kind of buried my face in my knees and went "STOP CALLING ME OUT."

But he said, "All right, then, here's the deal. I don't think you should go, I think it's compromising your mental health and your academics now, and that's more important because it has bigger long-term consequences. And I think that while study abroad is a great experience, you need to do it in a better environment--you should consider taking one of the three-week abroad trips we offer during the summer, where you go with a professor and a group of other students, and aren't alone and have a good opportunity for feedback, because otherwise you lose all sense of perspective regarding your own emotional state. I think if you did go abroad to study, it definitely shouldn't be to Greece, not with their healthcare system; I think that if you did go to Greece your parents would have to fly in about a month later and use a crowbar to pry you out from under your bed in some dark hovel where you would have gone to ground, and I don't think that's a very good use of their resources. So yeah. I'm giving you permission. But you know I won't be around all the time to give you that permission, and you need to learn to give it to yourself when you already know what the right decision is."

And I went ";______;"

Then I also wibbled about how I feel like I have to be perfect at this school because my dad and my granddad also went here, and my dad is on the board of trustees and used to be chairman of the board and literally everyone knows who he is and sometimes people I don't even know come up to me and tell me to give him their regards, so I know that any fucking up I do might be a reflection on him and certainly people will know about the connexion between That Important Guy and That Bad Student, and my advisor told me I should tell Daddy that and I said I couldn't and flailed, and he raised his eyebrows at me a lot.

Anyway, it reminded me of why I felt it was so important that he be my advisor, way back in the day: because he teases me a lot, but when it comes down to real issues he can read me, he knows me well enough to call me out, and he genuinely does care about what happens to me. And, of course, he's extremely experienced in the field I want to go into. And I'm still kind of scared, but just knowing that I don't have to go abroad and he, at least, supports me in that makes me so much less terrified already, it's such a catharsis. Now I just have to get up the nerve to tell my parents.

But meanwhile, I was so nervous during the meeting that I worried every single bead off my skirt, and tore off part of the hem too. >_>
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Soujin

January 2012

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