Expectations and Reality


Often at times of big change and proposed opportunities it can feel ungrateful to say ‘wow, this is difficult.’ This guilt has been a feature in my life many times, but the two most prominent times were starting college and moving to Copenhagen. Before I moved to Limerick to start college I was told multiple times that this was my time, that I would make my friends for life during my college years and the memories I made would be the stories I’d be telling in years to come. With all this positive influence from family, teachers, and friends I packed my bags and went to Limerick with normal nerves (making dinners, making friends and new classes) but knowing this was the best decision for me.


After a few days and even weeks settling in, I started to wonder what everyone was talking about, college life was difficult. I was living with strangers, trying to constantly put my best foot forward, I was second guessing everything I wore and every decision I made hoping I would be liked. I felt I was back in secondary school again, it was hard work, but going home at the weekend I felt I had to confirm the beliefs of those around me and say I was having the time of my life. It’s only when reflecting that I realize our brains have the amazing ability of blocking out the bad and remembering the good. If someone asked me now, I would say the two years I’ve spent in college have been amazing, not the fact that some of my hardest and devastating moments have also been during this time. During my first year in college, I was dropped into the deep end and felt like I was learning to swim for the first time.


Right now, I am about in embark on week three in Copenhagen, its already been an experience full on highs and lows. While I know this is an amazing experience there are times when I want to book the next flight home and curl up in my bed with my dog Bonnie. The only thing that is getting me though this time is knowing that feeling unsettled is normal, that moving to another county is hard and I know that when I do go home at Christmas I’ll be looking back on this time as some of the best times of my life.


Whenever I feel like this move to Copenhagen is too much, I HAVE to remember that I am strong and I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Growing up is hard, moving away from home isn’t always a breeze, but here’s a little reminder that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. I’m a strong believer that life never throws anything at you that you’re not able for. You can do it, and you never have to be alone in these new changes either, reach out and talk to someone, share how you’re feeling, and I promise it’ll get better.

How I’m Copen: 7/10

Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but unlearning old limits- Alan Cohen

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