One of my favorite conversations to have with my friends that go to different schools is the one about new slang words that students at their universities are using. One word that we use at TCU that hasn’t quite caught on at other colleges is, “shook”. For those of you that are new to this term “shook”, in the young adult sense, means to be rattled and overcome by the emotions that you are feeling. You can use it in a positive or negative sense, or just use it to imply that you are feeling a whole lot of all the emotions. So, why do I bring this up? Well, when I first read our prompt saying to explain the emotions we are currently experiencing about CR, my mind immediately jumped to shook. I feel almost overwhelmed by my emotions of excitement, anticipation, and nervousness, so yes, in short, I am shook, very shook.

I spent all of first semester dreaming of even getting an opportunity to experience CR, and then three days before Christmas my dreams came true as I found out I would be one of 16 CRiners. Since that day, I have spent the past five months imagining everything this experience would be. I have had weeks this semester where I have been so excited that I spent my nights online shopping for gear and looking at past pictures, and ones where I was overwhelmed by the stories of missed trains and long days. This semester I also grew closer to many of those who will adventure with me in just three days, this aspect of community added to both feelings of excitement and nervousness. Excitement because I adore these people and I get to spend a month with them on another continent, and nervousness because I know that with closeness comes conflict.

Another aspect that has added to my emotions is my goal for the trip: to be spontaneous. Spontaneity is not something that comes easily to me even in the slightest; I naturally tend to plan everything down to the minute and think through all possible consequences before continuing with anything. Some may say this is a blessing, and yes it has helped me from time to time, but I also know that my hesitance to do anything that is not on the schedule has kept me from some awesome things. So, what better time to work on letting go of the plan and just going with the flow than in Europe! I am so excited to see where this trip takes me, and I am also terrified because I know my goal will take me extremely far outside of my comfort zone.

I am in complete shock that CR9 is actually happening, and I don’t think that it will fully hit me until I look out the plane window and realize I am flying over the Atlantic Ocean. I have absolutely no idea what I have gotten myself into, but I am ready to be all in, fired up, and continually “shook” by the abundance of learning, growth, and relationships! Here we go!