SOE News

The experience of a lifetime

Four years ago my sister was given the experience of a lifetime, and ever since then I've wanted that experience too. Ms. McMahon has finally given me that opportunity.

Before I could wrap my head around it, I would be on a plane heading to my dream destination, France. Though I've been looking forward to this for a long time, I've never been more nervous and afraid at the same time. Nervous about the plane ride, and afraid of forgetting simple things that I'm going to need to know, like, "Where is the bathroom?" and "What time is it?"

I have taken three years to learn this language, all for this experience and if I get all the way to France and forget everything I've worked so hard to know it won't be a pretty sight. I've maintained a solid "A" all year long in French, but writing French and speaking French are two completely different things. I am a better writer than a speaker, especially in front of people who grew up speaking French as their first language.

I'm sure that this trip is going to be amazing, and an experience of a lifetime but I just can't be excited when all I can think about is how I'm going to attempt to have a conversation with someone and just draw blanks.

When my sister went to France she had the most amazing time, and when she came back she couldn't stop talking about how she wanted to go back. I wish I could have that. I wish I could be excited and not scared, but I can't.

Seeing my sister in videos of her in France, talking so easily and seeing how she couldn't stop smiling and laughing, it all just made me want it more.

I know that this was going to be an amazing experience after I adjusted to the language and the culture, but until then I stick to being scared out of my mind.

Abby Straubel is an eighth-grader at Smith Middle School.
The Chapel Hill News