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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Thursday, February 29, 2024

What I Wish I Knew: It's nice not to know things

Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal, is pictured.

I started this study abroad journey as a slightly uptight, gently neurotic individual obsessed with learning all the important things I needed to make the most of this semester. Four months later, I am still a slightly uptight, gently neurotic individual who now understands that in order to make the most of studying abroad, it’s actually incredibly nice not to know exactly what comes next.

What I Wish I Knew: Over the course of study abroad, I will grow so much more from the things I didn’t know than from the things for which I was prepared.

It’s stressful to realize that study abroad is like returning to freshman year, but it’s thrilling to make your first real friend and go out to a London pub for the first time. 

It’s hard to let go of a stable routine, but it’s fun to realize that you can’t write your Tufts Daily column this weekend because, instead, your friends are going to hang out in Soho. 

It stinks to realize that your classes are actually difficult, but it makes it all the better when you get your first good grade on a midterm at a UK university.

It’s hard to realize that you can’t meticulously plan out every trip so that you can visit everywhere in Europe, but it makes it so much more special when you do get to travel.

It’s a bummer to miss your family, but it’s incredible to realize that you can, in fact, survive more than 3,000 miles away from them.

It’s scary to realize that school in London ends in March, but it’s so much fun to realize that you can plan a trip to Monaco or Budapest with just a few days' notice.

For every difficult part of studying abroad and for every single aspect of this experience that I wish I had known about before, there was something truly special to be gained from the spontaneity of my life, and from the anticipation that something incredible could be just around the corner that I don’t even know about yet.

So now, after seven columns telling you What I Wish I Knew, I guess I’m saying, who cares about knowing absolutely everything? Some things are better left to the unknown until you get the thrill of discovering them for yourself.