Choosing to study abroad will always be one of the best decisions I ever made. I, occasionally, wonder how different my life would have turned out was I to attend university in my home country. I don’t think I would be the same person I am today.
So here we go, a few of the things I’ve learnt while studying abroad:
1. I’ve learnt to appreciate home, family & friends more than ever.
I’ve been told, almost too times, that I really brighten up when I receive a call from my family. The excitement on my face usually amuses those around me…it’s like I’m a little girl whose mummy has come home from work, or something close to that. 🙂 Over the years, I’ve learnt not to take anyone or anything for granted, especially my parents and siblings. I feel extremely blessed to have them.
2. I’m much stronger than I thought I was.
So before coming abroad, I was that “baby of the family”, who was used to getting everything done for her. It almost made me feel like I was incapable of handling serious situations by myself. Then I flew to another continent to study. Knew no-one here. Didn’t know the language either. But somehow, I knew I was gonna be fine. I’ve really learnt how to depend on myself to get things done, from looking for apartments, to juggling the demanding schoolwork and everything in between. Everyone is human and in one way or another, they will disappoint you. You have to rely on yourself at the end of the day.
3. I should be my own first priority.
And everyone else should be their own first priority. I’ve learnt that I need to take care of myself first in order to help or inspire others. I need to value myself first before appreciating someone else. And lastly, I need to love myself first before loving anyone else.
4. Nothing is ever that serious.
I find “over thinking” to be such a waste of time. I say if you wanna do it, go ahead and do it. If you don’t, then don’t. Move on. Don’t waste time thinking instead of living. I used to think and hold onto so much, and looking back, it was really never worth it. So now I just take chances, live in the moment and choose happiness over everything else.
5. I’ve learnt to accept and appreciate diversity.
I’m not the kind to persuade anyone to think as I do. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And to me, it’s neither right nor wrong. It’s just different. And I respect that. Period.
What did you learn while living abroad or away from home?
Always be kind.