My name is Bailee and I am a junior (3 credits away from being a senior) majoring in psychology and minoring in women’s studies and African American studies. Since elementary school, I knew I wanted to participate in a study abroad program in college. The perfect program I envisioned for myself would be in a country that spoke English, during the summer, and less than a month long; preferably, also something I am interested in and not completely by myself. The faculty-led UA in London: Forensic Psychology was the perfect program for me. I stressed a lot in the lead-up to my departure to London for 18 days. I bought new clothes and a few pairs of shoes because I did not want to look like a tourist, especially an American, in London. Finding what clothes and shoes to take was one of the hardest things in preparing to depart.
My flight left from Atlanta on the evening of Saturday, June 4, and arrived in London in the early morning of Sunday, June 5. On the Wednesday before my flight, I left my home in Lexington, Kentucky, and rode to my uncle’s house in Atlanta with my parents and my child (dog) Minnie. Surprisingly, I was not anxious about going to London; this would be my first time flying by myself and out of the country. I was the most anxious about the amount of stuff I was bringing and my luggage being overweight. The Education Abroad office said to “pack light,” and I wanted to only take my big suitcase and my Vera Bradley duffel bag; but even after removing stuff, I still had to take my carry-on suitcase. It turned out that most students in my program had a carry-on, backpack or duffel bag, and a checked bag. Saturday morning, I became extremely anxious about my luggage and leaving my family.
I do tend to overpack because I am a person who likes to always be prepared; I would rather have something and not need it than not have it and need it. My anxiety kicked into high gear when I arrived at the airport. My dad went past security with me, exchanged currency for the equivalent of £40, then sat with me at the gate. My dad left when it was close for me to start boarding, but my flight was delayed about an hour or so. After boarding the plane, we were delayed again on the tarmac; but eventually, we were off, and I was on my way to London!