On Thursday June 30,  I will be heading to the airport to jet off to Tasmania. I cannot believe how quickly this day is approaching and this past week has been full of last minute preparations, with a few nervous breakdowns thrown in for good measure.

Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited to be in Australia. I know that this is an amazing opportunity. I will be in an incredibly beautiful place studying marine science (which has always been my dream) and I will be doing amazing things. But that doesn’t keep me from being super scared at times, too.

I have put a lot of pressure on this experience, as I want it to be formative for my career. After I graduate from DU, I will be attempting to get into a marine science PhD program somewhere in the world. To aid in this acceptance, I really need to get some experience doing fieldwork or research in a lab. I am hoping that I will have these opportunities in Tasmania, but the fear of falling short of my goals for these few months has been creeping into my mind more and more. After some emergency emotional damage control by my wonderful boyfriend, I realized that this experience is truly what I make of it and if I try hard enough and talk to enough people, I can make these great opportunities happen. Even then, whatever I do in Tasmania will ultimately help me with my future because few can say they studied for a semester on an island halfway across the world. So the excitement piece has officially replaced the fear piece of this puzzle.

Aside from preparing myself emotionally, the necessary logistics for the journey have been keeping me pretty busy in these last few days. To study in Australia, I am required to have a student visa and acquiring one was actually much easier than I had anticipated. Luckily, I didn’t have to do anything with my passport thanks to previous travels. One of the biggest things I had to do was get my bank accounts in order so I could survive financially while abroad. Everything was made much easier by actually going into the bank and talking with someone about the best options. Also, while in Australia, I’m going to need a different cell phone plan that will allow me to communicate nationally and internationally. I will also need to pay for a wifi connection in my dorm room for all of my Skype and Netflix needs. After a day on the Internet, I figured out what plans to get and how much these will cost me. Organizing as much as possible before leaving the U.S. will surely make things go much smoother once I arrive in Tasmania.  
After finally getting all of the pieces together, I am confident in saying that I am as ready as I will ever be. Now all that I have to do is get there and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Carolyn's suitcase awaits her adventure. Carolyn Angiollo | Clarion
Carolyn’s suitcase awaits her adventure. Carolyn Angiollo | Clarion