Making the Uncomfortable Comfortable

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When I woke up on Sunday, I didn’t expect to be climbing a mountain. But that’s exactly what I did.

We went to Langdale, in the Lake District, with the Hiking Club here. The course my friend Chloe and I chose involved a bit of hiking, then some “scrambling” (rock climbed without harnesses) up a mountain.

Sunday marked my first time hiking and my first time scrambling. They weren’t always easy — the first look down and the first slipped foot were a bit alarming — but I absolutely loved them both, and I would do them again in a heartbeat. The sense of awe and accomplishment at the top sure is addicting, and my thighs still ache in the best way possible.

Like Sunday, much of this semester has been about making the uncomfortable (more) comfortable.

It began the first day, when we navigated the bus system (and the city), and when the tutor (RA) on my hall made me — an exhausted, stressed student who reeked of airplane and stale fast food — go to brunch immediately, where I picked a table to sit down at and make myself outgoing. (In retrospect, I picked a pretty good table.)

And it’s continued ever since. I meet new people almost every day and have become the master of small talk (but I was almost there already — thanks, journalism). I try new food both in the dining hall and at restaurants (and have found out I’m a huge fan of vegetarian haggis quesadillas). I say “yes” to almost any cultural experience offered to me, because I want to have tried it.

This, I think, has been one of the best parts so far about studying abroad.

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