Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Foreign Correspondence: Mi Primera Vez – Surviving the first weeks in Santiago, Chile

I heard someone say the first week is the hardest,” my best friend at Stanford told me a couple days before I was supposed to leave. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t know, that’s just what I heard,” she told me. I brushed off the warning with a mere shrug. I should have heeded the warning but little could have been done to prepare myself. Accepted into the program late, I had less than 12 days, when others had months, to make a decision whether or not to go. To say the least, it was the hardest decision I’ve made to date. I took a lot of advice from people who had previously been abroad who spouted the benefits of going out of the country and the wonderful time they had but failed to mention the reality of the first week. If you had asked me last week how I had felt, I would have said I regretted my decision. Now, after a weekend in the wonderful port city of Valparaiso, I love the life in Chile.

Foreign Correspondence: Headline: Lost and Found in Florence

But aside from a fear of flying and airline regulations, the one emotion I felt more than any other was, believe it or not, pressure. I realized that rarely ever had I encountered a person who did not say that their abroad experience was the most amazing time of their life, and I remember thinking, What if I don’t have a great time? What if I come back thinking my past three months abroad were just so-so?

This Column Is Ironic: Paradise Lost (But Only Temporarily)

This is the last edition of “This Column Is Ironic” you’ll read that was written on the Farm. Scary, isn’t it? Sadly, my ever-prolific course load of political science papers precludes me from barraging you with wit during our Dead Week issue. (I promise you, political science actually requires me to do some work.) When The Daily resumes in spring quarter, I won’t be here. Instead, I’ll be living it up at home in Scranton, Pennsylvania for a few weeks until I begin my quarter abroad. That’s right, guys: I’m going to Oxford, and you’re coming with me.