The Truth About Flying

I have packed my bags many times, and let me just say that moving with the military has been so nice. There is SO much less stress to worry about with them coming to pick up all your stuff! When I was little, we moved back and forth from Africa several times. Each time we had footlockers full of books, boxes to ship, furniture to get rid of because we couldn’t ship it, etc… the list goes on and on and adds up to a lot of money. I love that the military just comes in and packs up all your stuff for you. 

With that being said, I also have a love/hate relationship with flying. Ever since I was little it has stressed me out so much. Everything about it is stressful up until you are sitting on the plane with your seatbelt on, taking off. Then I breathe and think,”Now the worst thing that could happen is a plane crash.” Because somehow the stress of missing my flight, my bag being too heavy, not having my ticket, and missing that little step in-between the plane and the terminal and falling into space are all much worse than the plane crashing. 

So I am here to tell you all the things that I do to minimize the amount of stress I have in the airport! I need this post as much as you do. 

At Least Two Months in Advance…

1. DON’T wait until the last minute. I know you are thinking about skimming this step as soon as you read that. Don’t do it. Read it. It is the most important step!!! Let it sink in. Yes, it is possible to get it done in the last minute. Sure, you can stay up the night before packing boxes to ship and shoving clothes into a suitcase (been there, done that). But take it from someone who has tried it both ways: my favorite way to spend the night before a big trip is curled up in my bed reading a good book. Is it possible? YES. But it takes *gasp*… planning! I know, take a deep breath.  

2. If you are questioning it… you don’t need it. It all starts several months before your trip… not a week before. You need to sort. You need to purge. Please do it for the sake of my eyes that burn when I stare at your Hawaiian shirt that Noah wore when he stepped off of the ark. I am all for waste not want not. But it is not wasting to take a bag to Goodwill. Right now I have so many boxes sitting in my room waiting to be shipped… SORT, SORT, SORT. I can not emphasize this enough. If I had not gone to Goodwill with all the stuff that I have not worn or kept because I didn’t know what else to do with it, I would have twice as much stuff in my boxes to ship with nothing  to do with it when it reached my destination. Hint: This is the absolutely BEST time to get rid of that gift that you really hated but felt obligated to keep… *oops… must have lost it in the move… darn.* 

3. If you are in the military and have the privilege of a TMO shipment… put as much stuff as you can in it!!! There are a lot of things that I kept out because I thought that I would need them, and now I am just having to ship them. And it is a giant pain in the pazootie. Just ship it. Take it from me. You can live without the lamp/tiny vase/high heels… etc. All things that I am getting rid of now *sniff, sniff* because it is not worth it to ship them. I will truly miss that lamp… alas. 

4. Use your “occasions” wisely! Birthday coming up? Ask for your bestie to pay for shipping for a box or two! Ask for a suitcase. Whatever. No shame. I know how you think, it is hard to ask for stuff you need when you want to ask for stuff that you want. I am here to gently tell you to put on your big boy/girl pants and start living in the real world. Money is money. And if someone is going to spend it one you willingly, at least put it good use, and not on ANOTHER thing you will have to ship. 

5. STOP buying stuff. Those heels? You’re gonna have to ship them. Those ten dresses that you just bought on sale? You just added five pounds to your suitcase. Oh a cute little do-hicky-ma-bobber that would look so cute in my new house overseas… Everytime you want to buy something extra after your TMO shippment has gone out, just think to yourself, “I am paying for the cost of this item plus a 17$ box to ship it overseas.” Just stop. You’ll save the money and you need the space in your bag. When you get to your location, shopping will still exist. 

One Month in Advance…

6. Check, double check, triple check, quadruple check that you have all your papers for flying… Keep them in ONE place all together. I suggest a bright folder labeled TRAVEL on the front. And yes, label it, because in the event that you leave it somewhere you can describe it easily to someone else. Print them out, on paper. I don’t care if you have an iPhone, iPad, whatever – I have that too. But something terrible will happen and you need a backup, I’m just saying. Your battery could die, you could drop your phone in the toilet, or just on the ground, or it could get stollen. You think I’m kidding, but you won’t be laughing when you are standing at the ticket counter with no ticket because your phone is dead. Who knows. Plan for disaster to happen and have a backup of everything

7. Address Change… Blech. If you know your new address, buy some little cards and get them ready to send out. Go ahead and address them and put stamps on them so that all you have to do is stick them in the mail. SO many people have asked for my contact information and rather than telling everyone individually, it’s easier for me just to send stuff out. If you have doctors that you go to, contact them and get a copy of all your records to keep. If you get any of those annoying magazines from companies you’ve ordered from, write “refuse” on the magazine next to where your address is and put it back into your mailbox so that the company will stop sending them. 

One Week in Advance…

8. Pack all your bags at least two days in advance. Why, you might ask? Well I shall tell you. DISASTER will strike. There is nothing like the horrible feeling of going to the airport and all you can think about is what will I do if my bag is too heavy. If you pack two days in advance, you have plenty of time to weight your suitcases. If they are too heavy, you still have time to take things out and ship them. Plus, what if you can’t fit all your stuff into your suitcase like you thought you could! I call it practice packing. You can unpack if you need to to get to your toiletries or whatever clothes you need. 

9. Final note about carry-ons: Pack a small blanket in your carryon, especially if you have a long trip. I don’t actually use it as a blanket. In addition to my neck pillow(which is cheesy and goofy looking and also amazing), I wad up the blanket and stick it on the seat on whatever part is inevitably poking me, making it impossible for me to sleep. Also pack at least one change of clothes. There is a huge possibility that your bag will get lost. It is a part of life. One or two clean pairs of unmentionables will save your sanity if it does happen. Don’t, on the other hand, pack your toothbrush and toothpaste. Just pack one of those little Colgate wisps (no this is not a promotion, they are not paying me in any way. I have used the product and I like it, that is all.). This way you don’t have to have that little ziplock bag in security and your teeth can still be clean on the plane 🙂 

The Night Before the big flight…

Charge all your devices. Then sit back and read a book, because all your bags are packed, everything is ready, and you are not stressed! Wooo!!! 

I’m telling you, SO much stress can be avoided if you just plan ahead. YOU can do it!!! It will revolutionize your life, this whole planning thing. 


The Military Life Chose Me

Ever since I started dating Jason, I have had many people tell me that they could never be a military wife. I know what they are trying to say, and I certainly don’t take offense when I know that they mean well. They mean it as a compliment to me, or they mean it to be sympathetic to the challenges that we go through. But one thing that I have realized in thinking today about what it means to be a military wife (or husband, for that matter if you fall into that category) is that it is often not something that we chose. 

I didn’t choose to be separated from my husband for months at a time. I didn’t choose to drive back and forth from college to his house every weekend for a year just so that we could spend the day together. Of course I don’t want that. But I do want to be married to Jason, and I did choose to fall in love with him. I opened my heart to the possibility of love, and with that vulnerability comes the possibility of getting hurt. 

The hurt of being separated is strange. But I don’t think that it is any more strange than the pain of a loosing a spouse, or the pain of a sick child, or the pain of financial hardship. 

Jesus tells us that in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart because he has overcome the world. Right now my version of that means being separated from the one that I love most on this planet. But you have a version of this too. If you don’t, then you have not lived long enough. It will come. When it does, remember that there is a reason that you are going through these challenges. 

So no, maybe you would not choose to be a military spouse. But I bet that if you fell as deeply in love with someone in the military as I have, you would think twice about it. If you felt like God was leading you to be with someone in the military, you would think twice about it. Just because you don’t spend months away from those you love, doesn’t mean that your strength is less than mine.

Don’t belittle yourself. You are strong. Your strength does not look like mine, but it’s there.  My strength comes from God, and I know that without him I certainly could never be a military wife either. But here I am! And I am blessed a thousand times over because of it.

Update on New Adventures!

I haven’t made a post in awhile and I wanted to update everyone on what is going on in mine and Jason’s life!

As many of you know, Jason is now in Germany. Like the fantastic husband he is, he has found us a wonderful house about 15-20 minutes from the base. He has been there since January 14.

I am finishing school at Anderson and will be joining him May 5! YES! We do have my plane tickets! I could not be more excited to be finished with our long distance relationship, at least for the time being.

Right now I am doing my student teaching and while it is challenging, it is the best experience I have ever had. I feel like after this experience I could set foot in almost any school and thrive. I am so excite to see what is next for me. Speaking of which, I have an interview tomorrow! Thanks to the wonder of technology, I am able to have an interview with a potential job in Germany via Skype. I don’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched, so more details will follow!

In the mean time I am starting on some small packing, and pinning, pinning, pinning house ideas until my heart is content! Fingers crossed that Jason won’t object to too many of my crazy decorating schemes!

Debrief after Thailand

Thailand, what to say. I didn’t exactly fall head over heals love, but it is a place that grows on you after awhile. When we first arrived, Jason and I were constantly afraid of being pick pocketed. You see signs everywhere warning you about protecting your belongings, and we had read plenty of horror stories online before coming! We were worried about the infamous “lady boys,” the taxi rip offs, the Grand Palace schemes, and being robbed in our hotel room. We were worried about not being able to get around the city, about our bank accounts being locked out, and about getting in trouble for doing something culturally wrong. Pretty much the entire first day there was spent constantly reminding each other about what we needed to look out for! We were the epitome of the conscious and safe tourist. Which also meant that we trusted no one, and we assumed that everyone who looked at us had the intention of harming us.
The second day was quite different. On our second day, we took a trip into the rural parts of Bangkok on a Canal Trip. Ahh the canal trip. Here we did not have to wade through large crowds, merely a peaceful river with the ocasional Thai on a small river boat selling fruit or a bowl of soup.

This is my favorite face in Thailand:

Certainly, I don’t know much about this woman. Nothing that would lead me to trust her anymore than anyone that we saw in the crowds of Bangkok. I know that she sold us a wonderfully delicious bowl of soup, and I know that she smiled at me when I took her picture. I know that she has an adorable little boy who ran out to meet her at the pier (Butt naked by the way… I will not include pictures of him, in case you were wondering). I know that she had a spirit house built in front of her own, which means that she is a Buddhist. With such little information about her, how can I love her more than all the other faces I saw in the course of a week?

The reason is that for me, she represents all the other faces in Thailand. This woman means that even though there may be darkness in Thailand, there is still hope. If there is one thing that I learned from my week there, it is that there is so much work that needs to be done in Thailand. There are so many lost people, hoping to find peace by making the right sacrifice, meditating in the right way and for the right amount of time, doing good things, and thinking good thoughts. They believe that they are capable of eventually freeing their minds from suffering by concentrating on constantly and thinking what is good. And I’m not sure why, but when I saw this woman smiling her precious goofy grin on a hot Thursday afternoon, it reminded me that Jesus is capable of bringing the peace that they desire. The difference is that his peace cannot be earned, it can only be accepted. If only this beautiful woman could know how easy it is to be filled with peace.

Well. Now still have no idea what we actually did on the trip, but I’m sure I’ll manage to get another blog out soon enough with some more details. For now, lift a prayer to God and thank him for the free gift of grace that saves us and pray for those in this world who have yet to receive it.

A Cautionary Tale from the Theater

A few weekends ago Jason and I decided to spend a day in Seoul visiting the mall and watching a movie. We started our date off at CoCo’s Curry House which was sooooooo good. If you are ever in California, you can’t pass it up. Mmmmm. Just thinking about it makes me hungry! 

Next, we shopped around the mall which was also pretty incredible. You haven’t seen a mall until you’ve seen a mall in Korea. Every mall is at least 6 floors, some up to 12. It is INSANE in the membrane. Where I come from, Concord Mills is the big to-do, but you could fit 3 or four Concord Mills inside of a Korean Mall. 

And finally… the movie theater! Korean movie theaters are an interesting experience. When you pay for your ticket, you are also assigned a seat. The majority of the time they fill every single seat and Jason and I picked our movie out just in time to get some of the last ones. We picked two seats on the end of an aile. They weren’t the best, but at the time we were happy to get any seats at all.

Unfortunately, when we got into the theater we discovered two very important things. Number 1: Unlike most American theaters which have a small amount of room to stretch your legs once you sit down, the rows in Korean theaters are so close together that the seats in front of us were touching my knees. Number 2: There are only two ailes to get in and out of the theater, and both of them are in the middle rows. In other words, the seats that Jason and I had were right smack dab next to the wall.

This would have all been alright if we hadn’t gotten a giant coke. Yup. I’m a woman. I had to pee. SO BAD. I’m not even ashamed to admit it, you know you’ve all been there.  It was about half way through the movie and I had just a tiny little urge. But I could still hold it and ignore it for awhile. So I did. Thirty minutes later it got a little worse, and then thirty minutes after that I was starting to get desperate. I kept looking at the screen and then back at the long row of people that blocked my exit to the aile. I was sweating and I kept drumming my fingers on my knees. At that point, I couldn’t even tell you what was going on in Star Trek II. Finally the movie was almost over and I just couldn’t do it. It was like Moses parting the Red Sea. I was stumbling and popcorn was falling and at least 8 Koreans were hissing and grumbling. They hated me, I know it. Anyway, at least I was kind enough not to climb back over them again afterwards. I figured if I’m going to be a Stupid American, I should at least be a Considerate Stupid American. 

So the moral of that story? Get an aile seat, or else don’t you dare drink a sip of coke. 

Across the Border – Visiting the DMZ

The DMZ, for those who might not know, is short for the Demilitarized Zone. It is the no-man’s-land that marks the border between North and South Korea and is approximately 2 1/2 miles wide. It is the most heavily fortified borders in the world.


Our trip to the DMZ began several miles away from the border at a small tourist attraction called Imjingak. Here a bridge appropriately called The Bridge of Freedom was built to bring 12,773 prisoners back into South Korea at the end of the war. Families who had loved ones in North Korea hung ribbons on the fence around the bridge in prayers for their safety, and many still hang ribbons there today.


Next along our trip we visited the 3rd Tunnel, which can be seen on the first map above. Photos are forbidden in the tunnel, but in the image bellow you can see the loooong distance we walked from the upper platform to get down to see the tunnel. Needless to say, we did not work out when we got back in the afternoon. The picture is an accurate description of how steep it is! The tunnel was dug by the North Koreans in an attempt to make a surprise attack on Seoul. The tunnel is over a mile long and is 6 feet by 6 feet. We bumped our heads many times!


After visiting the 3rd Tunnel, we visited Dorsan Station. Dorsan Station is a railroad that was opened in 2001 and visited in 2002 by President George W. Bush. It was meant to be a railway that would bring reunite families. Saddly though, it has never been used. You can still purchase tickets for the a “ride” to the capitol city of North Korea, Pyeongyang, for about 50 cents (hint: you will not be leaving the station…). Signs of hope inside the station read, “Not the last station from the South, but the first station toward the North.”


Finally, we visited the Joint Security Area (JSA). This was definitely my favorite part of the tour, but it was also the scariest.

NOTE: Upon request I have added a few rules for visiting the DMZ.
1. Dress modestly! If possible, wear a collared shirt with pants/skirt bellow your knees. Close toed shoes are best due to the walking.
2. Do not make any gestures. No pointing, nothing. No contact of any kind with the North. Do not react if agitated or spoken to by anyone from the North.
3. Feel free to bring your cameras but obey 100% of the rules the guards give you about taking pictures. They are very specific about what you can and cannot take pictures of.

Those are the most important things! They will go over everything else in a short briefing.

Before we even entered the area, we had to sign a doccument stating that we were aware that we could be injured or attatcked by the enemy while on the tour. We also had to go over a briefing of the Korean war and we were told we could not make gesures (pointing, hand waving, obscene) of any kind. Pictures were also extremely restricted on the tour.

The Joint Security Area was constructed to be a place where both North and South Korea could come together peacefully. It was only meant to be a temporary establishment with the hope that a treaty would eventually be signed and the war would be over. The red line in the diagram below is the dividing line between the North and South. The blue buildings you will see in pictures to follow are the white buildings bisected by the red line in between the Home of Freedom and Panmon Hall. The pictures were taken in front of the Home of Freedom where you are only allowed to take pictures facing towards Panmon Hall, turning neither to the right or the left or behind you.



The guards here are there to protect us, the tourists. As soon as we left the area they went inside. In contrast, one North Korean guard stands outside of Panmon Hall (the large grey building) all day, looking at tourists through his binoculars. Our tour guide (the soldier in the foreground of the picture) told us that the guard has no idea what he is looking for, he is merely there to intimidate. While we stood there, a camera inside of Panmon Hall took pictures of us. It’s nice to know that the North Korean’s care about us enough to put us in their scrapbooks!

We were allowed inside of the blue building on the left and we could step over into North Korea but only while inside the building. We learned that the guards you see with white stripes on their helmets stand in a modified Tae Kwan Do stance with stone faced expressions in a show of indifference and strength towards North Korea. The two guards on the outside positions stand with half of their bodies obstructed by the buildings in order to be better protected in case of an attack.

While in the JSA, we were also taken to an outpost where we could look out over what the South Koreans and the US Military call Propaganda City. The city of Kijong-dong obtained this fond nickname because of the loudspeakers that blasted propaganda towards the south until 2004 to try and get South Koreans to defect to the North. They praised their wonderful leaders, and condemned both South Korea and the United States. An interesting little fact about Propaganda City is that its population is 0. That’s right, the city is completely fake! In fact, the buildings are hollow with painted on windows. Our tour guide said that despite the fact that they are lit at night, the light fades going from the top of the building to the bottom. There are lights at the top of the buildings, but they are merely hollow shells! During the day, the city brings in some people to work and ride around but it’s all a show. No one actually lives there.


Despite the fact that the JSA is meant to be a place of peace between North and South Korea, the North Koreans have definitely spilt their share of blood in the so-called “safe zone.” In 1976 a United States army officer was murdered with an axe by a North Korean while trying to trim a tree that blocked the view of an observation tower.

Our tour guide told us that they are still continually harassed by North Korean soldiers. The worst harassment he had seen was when he was on a tour in the same buildings we visited and the North Koreans began to bang on the glass so hard that they feared it would break.

It was definitely a sobering trip to visit a place that is so close to me, and yet is a completely different world from the one I live in every day. Outside of the DMZ it seems like most of South Korea forgets about the North in their day to day lives. No one talks much about what the North is threatening to do, or the horrors that they have inflicted on their people.

I could tell you stories all day long about the horrors that the people of North Korea are still facing today, but I will let you read them for yourselves. I have posted links below to both articles and books that you can read on the subject if you are interested in learning more.

So after all this, what are we to do? Sure my husband is serving in the Air Force, but what can I do on a daily basis for the people of North Korea? We can make use of one of the most powerful tools available to us – prayer. Pray that the eyes of the people of North Korea will be opened to their abuse, and that the hearts of surrounding countries like China will soften towards their plight. Pray for courage and strength for the innocent people of North Korea as they struggle daily to provide food for their families and to survive horrible torture. And most of all, pray that God will perform a miracle and soften the heart of the leaders of North Korea. Sometimes we think that things like that are impossible, but the Bible tells us that God softened the heart of Pharaoh and let the Israelites leave Egypt. God is still in control, and he can still work miracles today.

A North Korean Defector’s Story – An article by Justin McCurry

Nothing to Envy – A book by Barbara Demick

Escape from Camp 14 – An article by Blaine Harden (also a book by the same title)

Interview with Shin Dong Hyuk – YouTube video interviewing the person from Escape from Camp 14

Questions You Might Have

I’ve had a few questions here and there about where I’m living, what I’m eating, and those sorts of things so I thought I would answer some of them here! As always, feel free to comment and ask me any additional questions.

1. Where do you live? Jason and I are living in an apartment about 1.5 miles off base. It is the perfect distance for walking, biking, and not too expensive to take a taxi on rainy days.

2. What is the transportation like? We don’t have a car here, but everything is pretty accessible! Sometimes we take taxis, but mostly we just walk everywhere. Once you get into big cities like Seoul they have a public bus system that is not too complicated. The travel agency on base provides transportation to trips and the like, and several of Jason’s buddies have cars in case of an emergency.

3. Have you had any Korean food yet? Some! I have tried Kimchi, and it’s not exactly my favorite thing ever. Jason loves it though! In one restaurant, we had a dish where you cook your own pork, cut it into pieces, and then eat it like a wrap inside of lettuce with rice and bean sprouts. It was ooooober yummy!!!

4. What kind of household appliances are different in Korea? Get this… the toilet has a seat warmer. It kind of freaks me out a little. Every time I sit down to, you know, it feels like someone else has been there before me… ALSO the dryer and washing machine are a combo! They are in the same machine. It’s very weird. And we have a key pad on the door (WITH a video camera to see who’s at the door!!!) instead of keys.

5. Do they have any americanized restaurants? YES! They actually have a lot. Baskin Robins, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds. And get this… McDonalds delivers. Yes. There is a little yellow motorcycle that will bring heart-attack chicken nuggets straight to your door. You don’t even have to waste the energy to get into your car. I don’t understand why Koreans are so skinny. Actually, yes, I do. I walked 11 miles yesterday back and forth from the base! WUT.

And lastly, for your pure enjoyment: this adorable puppy doggie whom I have named Andy without the owners knowledge.


Nami Island and The Garden of Morning Calm

My first Saturday here, and already we are tromping about the country! Yesterday we took a bus to Nami Island and afterwards to The Garden of Morning Calm. Nami Island is named after General Nami and is supposed to be a place of love and harmony. They have tons of arts and crafts on the island as well as music, book festivals, and incredibly tall trees! The Garden of Morning Calm is a garden that was created because there were not really very many botanical gardens in Korea and they wanted something to commemorate all the beauty in the country. I wish we had more time in the garden because it was seriously the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen!! Here are a few highlight pictures.


Looking out at the Island as we came in on a ferry. 


Look out over a pond on the island at the pavilion.


White lantern walkway on Nami Island


A small stream runs through the Garden of Morning Calm, and everywhere people were picnicking on the rocks and playing in the water. 


The Garden is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills! It is simply gorgeous. 


After walking through at least ten separate gardens of various types, you get to a small pond with a waterfall and this bridge with a gazebo thingie. 

Thoughts on Traveling

SO I finally made it to S. Korea!!! Praise God! The flight was incredibly long, but I made it in one piece! I won’t bore you with every single detail of my trip, but I wanted to share a few humorous thoughts I had while going through the airport and flying and such. Enjoy!

Listening for my boarding group: Yeah you should know that no one can understand what you’re saying… I know this is my plane, so I’m getting on.

When passing all the people in first class: Back with all the peasants I go!

When flying over Lake Michigan: It would reeeeally stink if the plane crashed right now… At least I would get to pee.

When navigating through the O’Hare airport: I will conquer you, flying jungle!!! *imagines jumping over a pond of piranhas*

When flying Asiana air: What is this hot cloth for… *sneakily looking at the people around me* Oh snap… that’s brilliant. (They pass out these little heated wash cloths to wipe your hands off before you eat!)

When looking out my window while flying over the arctic: That’s a lot of clouds… wait… Oh shoot that’s snow! *please let me see a polar bear!!!*

When using the restroom on the plane: There is a toothbrush in here. And a teeny tiny tube of toothpaste. That’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

When navigating through Incheon airport: Look for English… and other white people. *Please oh please let my bag be here…*

When looking for Jason at the airport: Look for the white guy running towards you… Yup. There he is!!!

How to Survive in Any Culture

Having lived in Africa and Belgium as a child and having many opportunities to travel as a teen has given me a broad perspective of the world. I don’t know everything about every culture, but I do know a few general tips on how to adjust to a new culture. I thought I would share some of that insight asI prepare myself for a culture I’ve never experienced!

1. Keep an open mind. You certainly will not agree with or like everything from that culture, but remember that you don’t agree with or like everything from your own culture either. Realize that this is the time for you to experience something new that you may never get to do again, not the time for you to stick your nose up at something different.

2. It will smell weird. Each country that I have been to has a very distinct smell, whether it was delicious cheese and fresh bread in Belgium (preferable) or something more along the lines of sticking your face in the trashcan in Africa. Yeah it’s gross, suck it up. By the third day you won’t even notice it any more. Okay, yes you will. But you don’t have to wrinkle your nose every five seconds like you’re the Queen of England, choose to be gracious and make the best of it.

3. Try new foods! You are missing on out a huge portion of a culture if you don’t try the weird dishes. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it ever again. By this token I can now say that I’ve eaten fried grasshoppers. At least it sounds cool!

4. When you don’t know what to do, stand back and observe. If there is a cultural situation that you’re unsure of, most of the time the locals are more than happy to show you what to do. If it’s too awkward to ask, wait until you see someone else and then follow suit.

5. Have a positive attitude. If you are grumpy about having to do things you aren’t used to, or things you’re uncomfortable about, you aren’t going to learn anything! And you will make yourself and everyone else miserable. Put on your big kid britches and decide that you are going to have a good time.

Clearly these are pretty general, but they work every time! Just be excited and ready to learn new things.