I have known since I was extremely young that I would want to study abroad, and as soon as I got to the University of Oklahoma I began setting up meetings with advisors and becoming informed about what my options were for where I would be able to realistically study abroad. Having originally wanted to go to somewhere in the British Isles, I discovered through research that the cost of living in those places would make it prohibitively expensive, so I ended up deciding that since I was studying Russian anyway somewhere in Eastern Europe would allow me the travel options I wanted within the budget I could manage. I did plenty of research and when I was going into my junior year (the year I knew I wanted to study abroad) I got serious about my applications and started working on getting into the program I wanted and making it feasible.
My advisor told me repeatedly not to worry too much about things and that I should wait to worry about things like visas and plane tickets until I got accepted to my program. I was nervous about many things about going into this experience but I told myself not to be such a drama queen and that I should listen to her. I now have to fly to New York for two days just to get my Visa. This is an unexpected expense that is vastly cutting into my budget for the trip and which is completely unavoidable, but for which I could have planned much better had I continued looking ahead instead of putting off my research and preparation. The moral of the story is: don’t let anyone tell you to chill out. Trust your gut.