A Year Abroad

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The plane slowly descended from the clouds. In my hand was a letter entitled, “Open on the Plane over to Germany.” It was from my sister, the first of a series of ten letters that I was to open throughout the next eleven months. I slowly opened the envelope and pulled out the document inside. On the back of the paper was a Game of Thrones quote: “’Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?’ ‘That’s the only time a man can be brave…’” In the letter, my sister poured her hopes, dreams, and excitement for me onto the paper. She told me how proud she was. “The decision to leave behind everything and everyone you know isn’t easy, but it’s the hard decisions that make us into who we are,” the letter stated.

I was standing on the edge of a great adventure, and all I had to do was leap. As the wheels of the plane smacked down at Frankfurt Airport, I folded up the letter and slid it into my backpack. The adventure had finally begun, and I was ready to do as my sister had told me: take the leap.

In 9th grade, I was an adventurous girl who was desperate to see the world. I somehow decided that boarding school was the answer to all my woes. My father recognized my plan and knew that I needed a distraction. When he mentioned the...

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