dear aap - It is almost Summer and, luck me, I'll be spending it abroad doing an exchange program in France. If it goes well I might be able to stay through the Fall semester. For me, this is the trip of a lifetime and part of the reason I picked my particular college in the first place was because of their "study abroad" programs for Upperclassmen. The problem isn't my boyfriend - well the problem isn't JUST him. He is a bit put out by the whole thing, but he knew it was a non-negotiable. He made some noises about "joining me" and I wouldn't have been totally against it, but he didn't bother planning his life - academic or otherwise - to include this trip, this opportunity. So I don't feel like that is my fault. I AM going to miss him and I am going to miss my family, friends my cat and especially my band. I think THEY are the ones I feel most badly about. If my boyfriend gets bored or stupid, he can always go out with someone else, but the band, we're just a three piece, really only works with the three of us and most of the songs and stuff are mine - so with me gone they really can't do much without me and I feel bad leaving them in the lurch, but not so bad that I would cancel my trip. Am I being selfish here? - Passport in Hand.
Dear PiH -
Easiest answer in a long time: No, you're not being selfish. GO !
...heck, if I could I would even offer you a ride to the airport. I hate to sound like the old fossil I'm becoming but here goes: Unless you're a trust fund kid, or a (very) successful Web entrepreneur, once you're out of college and neck-deep in the "real world," you don't get (m)any opportunities to spend three, or possibly even six months in Europe for any reason.
I know your world seems full of possibilities, opportunities and calls to adventure now, and that's because it IS... and those sorts of possibilities etc do NOT come around later in life... sure OTHER yet unimaginable opportunities will present themselves at later stages in life (and you should seize those too) but when it comes to the sort of thing you're describing, the term "once-in-a-lifetime" was coined for a reason.
You're level-headed about your boyfriend issue. That tells me you're a person who knows her own mind and is at least trying to live life on her own terms... hold on to that. Kiss him good-bye and mean it. As far as the band goes - You didn't make it sound like you three were on the verge of breaking BIG this Summer, so what does a 3-6 month hiatus really matter? Your band mates can work on their long-simmering "solo projects" or at the very least practice their chops, while you, you get to fill your head with new sights, sounds, smells, beats & rhythms that will probably be a strong influence on your songwriting for years (perhaps decades) to come.
...so it isn't just an "opportunity" you're almost obligated, in the name of all of us with mostly-empty passports, to go forth and explore the continent and yourself.