This coming August, I will be boarding a plane taking me to the United States, where I will be spending 10 months of my life studying at a university yet to be determined. This may seem very nice, interesting, such a great opportunity. Few people realize how much this fateful moment will mean to me, and why I tear up just thinking about it. Few people realize this has been my #1 dream for almost eight years, a dream finally within reach, and I don’t think even those who do, can understand why it makes me so emotional.

So here is a tribute to this dream. I was 12 years old the first time I set foot in the US, and returned two years later. Then, in 2011, I got the most amazing opportunity: I got to spend six weeks at an Indiana high school; it was the most wonderful experience I have had so far, and I enjoyed every moment of it. Yes, even that time I cried at Cedar Point because I was utterly mortified at the idea of getting in a roller-coaster. (I ended up not riding it, because you know, I don’t like to feel like I might die.) In the small town of Warsaw, Indiana, I fell in love with football, and learned to understand American conservatism – one of those things you can only comprehend if you have seen it firsthand. But this tale would be incomplete without the bigger dream behind it. You see, after I returned from my first stay in the US, I was determined to attend college there. Brown, USC, Columbia, Harvard… Thoughout the years, many schools have come and gone through my wishlist; yes, there are three Ivies on this list. I am an ambitious person. But one of these remains at a special place in my heart, even though I can’t fully explain why: USC. Maybe it’s because it was the first school I really felt something for; the first I pictured myself at. I’m a sentimental person like that.

I applied to Columbia and Harvard during the college application process, and got rejected by both. Harvard was ok, I never thought I would get in anyway. But Columbia had morphed into my dream school, the place I could see myself study at for four years. Little did I know, a year and a half later I would not even wish attending anymore. Besides, I probably needed to be reminded that you can’t always get what you want, but that in the end everything works out anyway.

You see, my current school has the most amazing program: it requires us to spend our third year abroad, either at a partner university or doing an internship. I will be attending college in the US, which has been a lifelong goal of mine. I considered USC, even though I’m no big LA-lover, for the obvious reason that I am madly in love with the school, but it doesn’t give us access to all departments of the university, so I had to find another choice. And so came UT Austin. It has everything I am looking for: killer Communications and Film departments, a great football team, cool traditions, and a very present Greek system. Also, it’s a gigantic school, which I would love to experience after spending two years at an institution which currently counts 300 students at my campus (don’t get me wrong, I love our campus, but I would also like to know how it is to attend school with 50,000 other people. That’s as much students as there are people in my hometown). I need to get accepted of course, but whatever happens, I will be spending the most amazing year for sure.

Hopefully home next year

Hopefully home next year. Hook em!

When I board that plane in August, I will probably be crying like a baby. Sad tears, because I will be leaving my family behind for an entire year and heading off into the unknown, to a country which I have certainly visited but still have everything to learn about. But there will also be happy tears, oh so many happy tears. In less than a year, the dream is coming true. In less than a year, I will be living what I have been working towards since I was twelve. And it will be the most wonderful experience of my life, that I can guarantee. As Walt Disney would say, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Almost there. Hook ’em.