The panic is setting in. I have finally met the people I will be traveling with but have yet to break the news to my parents. Last night was the final night of Miss Indiana and we had to give a fun fact in our introductions. I was half tempted to say “Leaving for India in 1 month, sorry mom and dad, I’m your Miss Hoosier Heartland, Madeline May!” I chickened out and decided I could push this a few more weeks.

As for the people I will be going to India with, it is a group quite opposite of myself. There is only one boy out of about 15 ladies, besides Dr. Philips, so either he is a lucky guy or is horrified by this situation. I did not get to meet him so I’m excited to overwhelm him in the future. Everyone at our first meeting went around the room and introduced themselves- “Hi, I’m an Anthropology major,” “Hello, I am also an Anthropology major,” “Hi, I study Anthropology…”

And then there was me.

In my head I was thinking uhhh Anthropologie is my favorite store to shop at… So I introduced myself “Hi, I’m Madeline May-like-the-month, I don’t know what Anthropology is but I study TCOM and I’m just excited to be here.”

If there is one thing I learned abroad, it’s nice to have a group of people very different from yourself. I am the only one in the group who has really ventured the world on my own and I feel very prepared emotionally and mentally to make this trip packed with fun, new adventures.

To answer your lingering question: why don’t you just tell your parents?? Here are a few reasons:

1.) Dawn May. My mother would lose her marbles knowing that I have to report to the University of South Florida for grad school 4 days after I return home. That means I have to get over jet lag, pack all of my stuff, drive 18 hours to Tampa, move in, and do a rapid fire orientation. I have already discussed this with the school and they are ready to work with me as needed. The iffy part is that Ball State’s last degree roll is the day I get back from India so I will make it (barely) in time to be an official graduate.

2.) “India is a filthy country. You are never allowed to go there.” -Bob May, circa 2016

3.) I busted my butt in school to graduate early, make great scholarship money, and push Ball State to cover this trip with my remaining scholarships. This is my thing. I have done everything in life to be the best kid for my parents and this is my one rebellious deed at nearly 22 years of age. Go ahead, parental friends. Riot!

The good news? I am prepared. I have done some serious research and am going with my university. What is funny about this whole situation is how many people know about it, yet can’t/ won’t say anything. Example A: Dr. Wright. Malaria is not super common, but it still occurs in India. In order to prepare for this, I went to my family doctor to discuss prevention. He is decently acquainted with my parents so before I even told him about the trip, I slapped him with the HIPAA and he responded “yes, we doctors are pretty good at keeping secrets.”

So, don’t worry about me, fam-bam. Be glad I am living life, support me in my wildest adventures, and maybe I’ll bring you back a souvenir.

Leaving for India in just one month, I’m your good-girl-gone-bad, Madeline May!

The One With the Jokes



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