The day had finally come for my trip to England, January 6th 2012. Unfortunately this was also on the day of my mother’s birthday, but I was happy that I got to spend most of the day with her until my 7:40pm departure time.
We celebrated with an early birthday dinner at mom’s favorite restaurant, Atlantic Fish, and headed over to the airport. Naturally, my father got lost, and getting lost in Boston means getting stuck in traffic and going about 30 minutes out of the way… so I didn’t get to the airport until 6:48pm. This was definitely cutting it close, but definitely enough time to get through check-in and security.
Or so I thought.
A (not-so-very-nice) check-in employee named Meghan (not-so-very-nicely) informed me that check-in time closes promptly 1 hour prior to departure time and they gave away my seat to someone on stand by.
January 6th 2012 was the evening I had my very first panic attack. I was 8 minutes late, and there was nothing I could do. Meghan was not being sympathetic and she could care less about the fact that I spent $400.00 on this (apparently pretend) plane ticket, I had to check-in to Westminster in the morning, and I had planned to meet Clara at the airport to take a cab to Harrow together.
After I (sort of) composed myself, I called my ticket distributor, Student Universe, and had a few choice words for them. I managed to get myself another ticket for Sunday evening with only a $100.00 charge. Better than Meghan’s suggestion to buy a whole new ticket because the one I had was “worthless”.
That weekend went by at a snail’s pace. I had been so ready to leave on Friday and it was the biggest buzz-kill ever to have to drive back to my house that night.
But Sunday eventually came, and saying goodbye to my family was as hard as I imagined. It was hard to be excited when I was significantly more scared and terrified of getting homesick, but I had the flight to give myself a pep talk and compose myself. (BTW Virgin Atlantic is the coolest airline ever! But I’m flying First Class next time… reclining chairs with footrests, Champagne, and hot towels!?!) I watched Friends With Benefits and slept on my purple Hippo pillow pet (shout out to my roommate Michelle, best present ever!).
I made it a priority to get a driver with a sign with my name on it, and I was so relieved to see him when I arrived! He helped me with my bags and drove me to school, talking to me along the way about his life and kids. He even let me borrow his phone to call my parents to tell them I had landed! He also gave me his number when I arrived to call him if I needed anything or had any questions. A nice gesture, but I’m a little leery about it.
As much as I wanted to go to sleep, I had to find my room, drop my things, and head to orientation. Thank goodness Clara knew the way, because I was half-asleep and there was no way I would have been able to figure out the tube on my own!
After three long hours, too much information, and too many pamphlets and brochures, I headed back to my dorm, skyped my mom, and went to bed. Day one was VERY long and finally over. Top of my agenda tomorrow: get a phone!