Before applying for my study abroad program (Landscape Architecture in Germany), I had this completely convoluted rational that as a non-US citizen it would be impossible for me to consider leaving to study abroad. A large part of that mentality grew from the stories I’d hear about leaving the country and the fear of not being able to get back that has been instilled through the media. I’ve grown this fear of America. Which is absurd because it’s my home and regardless of what my legal papers say it has been my treasured home for the past 17 years. Yet here I am shackling myself to my very home in fear that one wrong slip up will cost me everything my family has been working for.
For me, preparing for departure has been legal form after legal form, hunting down certain people for specific documents, paying fees for documents, running around the city from the Filipino consulate to the German consulate, and running from the anxiety all this legal work fills me with. Its not new. It’s something my family has been doing my entire life. It’s something I hate. It’s something I have to do.
Yet somehow here I am- about to leave my home in the US for the first time since immigrating -defying the very thoughts I put into my head. And somehow, it hasn’t sunken in that in a mere two days I’m leaving. Every possible emotion fills my body- from fear, to excitement, and most of all anticipation.
Anticipation for the worst – that my schengen visa I’ve worked to get will somehow get denied. Or that I’ll forget the right paperwork or answer a question at border patrol incorrectly.
And luckily anticipation for the best – that I’ll remember to pack every important document I need to enter, exit, and study in Germany. That I’ll successfully fill out every form correctly and jump through every hurdle they throw at me next.
I realize that I’m tired of being in fear as an immigrant. I’m going to explore the world. I’m going to Germany. I’m not going to let this mentality stop me anymore. I’m ready.