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No phone, no A/C, no problem

I’m giving up everything for four months.

As I sit here in my comfortably furnished, air-conditioned living room with little more than 12 hours to board a plane, an air of apprehension fills my lungs. Why, of all places, did I choose Oregon for my semester away? Everyone from my political science adviser to my four-year old niece has asked that question. As I get closer to leaving, I find myself wondering the same thing. Why?

I remember the day I decided to skip out on my planned semester away in favor of Oregon. I was having a hard time here and the thought of spending four months in the mountains, far away from my problems, seemed like a glorious solution. I hurriedly sent off my application and before I knew it, the plane ticket was in my hand. And non-refundable at that.

Now I and approximately 35 other students will be spending around four months in the mountains of Oregon. We will live without most modern devices such as stereo, television and cell phones. There is plumbing and other basic necessities (for all those who were about to make a comment), but the point of the trip is to get away from the chaos of our daily lives.

And yet second, third and fourth thoughts have begun to creep in as I pack the heavy-duty hiking boots and extra thermals needed for our backpacking trip. I didn’t sign up for this. And I hate the cold. Is it too late to change my mind?

My one comfort is that there have been people who have gone before me and lived to tell the tale. Not only do they say how wonderful their experience was, but also how it changed their lives forever. And don’t we all dream about getting away to a quiet place where we can just think and read?

Maybe it will be all right after all. It has to be. My plane ticket is non-refundable and my boots have already been broken in.

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