Slider

3 THINGS STUDYING ABROAD TAUGHT ME

07/07/2016


I spent almost five months in the United States last fall. Before the exchange the whole idea of going abroad to study and travel on my own seemed like a dream that would never come true - I had wanted it for so long. And when it finally happened, time went by flying. Now, over six months after coming back, it again feels like a dream. Something that happened in a different life.


All the things I had to do to prepare for my exchange and all that happened in the U.S. made me a stronger person. Just before leaving I had this breakdown in my mind when I thought "this is too much work, f*ck America". But then I remembered why I wanted to go so badly: because I had wanted it since I first watched Gilmore Girls when I was 13 years old. I had to go. I couldn't give up.

My time in the U.S. wasn't all easy. The food and the air conditioning made me sick at first and I missed home. I missed my boyfriend and I missed my family. But I was there and I wasn't going home until December. So why bother being sad when my days in the sickly hot state of Georgia were limited? No, I wasn't going to be sad. I was going to take everything out of the experience and enjoy it.

Here are a few things I've been going over in my mind since I came home.

1. Sometimes you just have to let things happen. In the States, I mostly traveled with a group of girls. And as always when there are girls who really don't know each other but have to stay in one apartment for a holiday, disagreements are bound to happen. I found it perfectly okay for me to stay out of the drama and enjoy my time on the holiday. I learned I don't always have to fix everything. The statement also applies to travel plans, your studies and life in general, sometimes you just can't and you don't have to control everything.

2. You don't have to be friends with everyone.  During my exchange, I was friends with people from many countries just because we were in the same situation. I found a few very good friends to whom I still talk to and share things with but I also learned that not everyone is supposed to be your friend and you don't have to please everyone. Understanding and being polite is essential but when it comes to real friendships... Well, you know who you connect with and who you don't. Don't try to please people just because otherwise, you would be alone. Instead, try to find people who like you just as you are.

3. You have to try new things. I know I sound like the world's biggest coward when I say there are so many things in the world that frighten me. But it's true. There are so many things that I find scary and unnerving that sometimes it makes me want to crawl into my bed and never come out. However, living like that isn't a life at all. I have come to realize that the best memories, the things that I will remember when I am 80, will be the things that frightened me at first. I need to overcome my fear of new things in order to achieve something unforgettable. Thinking about the exchange, even leaving for the U.S. was something which I am very proud of myself.

What was your experience in studying abroad? What did you learn? Let me know in the comments or through my social media channels!

(ps. Writing about the U.S. made me miss the place so much that I had to do grilled cheese for breakfast... So unhealthy but yet so delicious!)

Vielä vähän vaihtojuttuja, vaikka kotiinpalustakin on jo yli puoli vuotta! Koko Amerikassa vietetty syksy tuntuu tällä hetkellä kaukaiselta unelta, mutta siitä jäi käteen ihania muistoja ja uusia tuttavuuksia, joista muutaman kanssa ystävystyttiin ihan oikeastikin. Vaihto opetti mulle paljon asioita itsestäni ja elämästäni ja ajattelinkin jakaa teidän kanssa niistä muutamia.

1. Joskus asioiden pitää vaan antaa mennä omalla painollaan. Jenkeissä reissattiin paljon tyttöporukalla. Aina ei asiat menneet ihan niin kuin olisi itse halunnut, mutta niissä tilanteissa piti joustaa ja antaa muiden mennä niin kuin ne halusivat. Sillä säästyy yleensäkin paljolta mielipahalta, kun ei turhaan hankaa vastaan.

2. Kaikkien kanssa ei tarvi olla kavereita. Vaihtariporukassa vietetään aikaa sen takia, että muut on samassa tilanteessa kuin sinä eli uudessa kulttuurissa uusien ihmisten keskellä. Sellasessa porukassa kaikki näkemykset ei aina kohtaa, eikä tarvikaan. Omia näkemyksiään ei myöskään tarvi muuttaa niin, että ne sopis siihen, mitä muut ajattelee. 

3. Joskus pitää mennä oman mukavuusalueen ulkopuolelle. Vaikka muiden toilailuja katteliskin vaan sivusta ja kaverit olis suurin piirtein samanhenkisiä, niin se ei tarkota ettei oman mukavuusalueen ulkopuolelle pitäis koskaan mennä. Vaihto on sitä varten, että tutustuu uusiin kulttuureihin ja ihmisiin ja mahdollisuuksia tähän ei pidä jättää käyttämättä!

Oliko sulla samoja kokemuksia? Kerro niistä vaikka tuolla kommenteissa tai somen kautta. :)

4 comments:

  1. Such an awesome post and good read! I wish I was able to study abroad but it just didn't workout for me. THank you for sharing your insights with us!
    xoxo
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment!

      Delete
  2. I studied abroad in College and wish I had done it some more! I would add to do a homestay, rather than live in an apt as I did so that you really connect with people and learn more about traditional practices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A homestay gets you into the culture really well. I didn't have the option to do so but it was fun in any case :) thanks for your comment!

      Delete

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan