Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life Happens

Life happens. It never goes as planned, no matter how much you plan in advance for it. You graduate high school, the place where you think you are invincible and have limitless time. You then go onto college where you spend four years figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. It's like society has set this model of what the "American Dream"  is. It goes like this: mainly people graduate, get a job (if they're lucky), get married and have children (sometimes). Then when they are say 35, have a big white house, a husband and those 2.5 kids they wonder okay, what next? I have succeeded, I accomplished the American Dream. I say, break out of that mold, live the life you want to live. Don't get married, never have a kid, become the crazy old cat lady or do it all out of order. Life is not meant to have a mold and people need to start realizing their own dreams versus the ones they think they have because society tells them too. Basically, what I am trying to get across is, that life happens and before you know it you have so many more commitments than you did just a few years previous, whatever those commitments may be, kids, a husband or 10 cats. I guess as I get older and my college years dwindle, I have been thinking a lot about the future and what it holds, what direction I will go when I graduate college. I just keep thinking of how fast time goes by and to not waste a second. It's so hard to explain in words, but going abroad really just makes you feel alive in a way you haven't before. You have these moments abroad where you just are so utterly amazed by the moments you are in, you never want them to end. It's a beautiful feeling. So while you are young, in college and this time is all about you, study abroad. Be selfish. You are only young for so long, so be selfish with who and what you give your time to. I can tell you from experience that your time spent abroad will never be wasted.
 All I know is growing up my mom always inspired me with her travels of going abroad to new places all through her 20's and I couldn't wait for it to be my turn. When it finally was my turn, it all went entirely too fast. Once you go abroad it changes you in so many ways when you come home, you have often altered, but everything at home is the way you left it. To be honest, some days it's hard to be back in my same routine I had before I left. I just feel like I am dying for another adventure and routine is so difficult. You just catch the travel bug and are constantly looking for ways to go back abroad, new adventures are always waiting to be had. I know what you're thinking, I just have so much going on with school, I don't know if I could leave for a whole semester. How will I afford that? These are all reasonable questions and ones you must address, but just stop. Just stop thinking of why it wouldn't work or why you can't and start thinking, HOW it will work and HOW you are going to do it one way or another. That's where I am right now in fact, figuring out how I will go abroad one more time before I graduate. It is really just the commitment you put into it and the effort you put into going.
There are so many study abroad options to choose from, there is something for everyone. I knew study abroad was my goal so I spent an entire summer working endlessly at two jobs to raise the money to go. You know, yeah I did give up my social life for the summer, but the experience I received in return for that summer was so much greater than what I gave up. I know now that I can always look back proudly on my time in college and remember traveling a new part of the world, I am a part of a slim 5% of students in the United States who go abroad every year and that is something to be proud of. Wouldn't you like to join that small percent? In the end, I hope I can inspire just one soul looking for an adventure, to go abroad. If you go abroad early enough in college then you always have the option of going again, but even getting to go once is a gift. Take the chance, be selfish and go abroad. Better yourself. Get lost and find yourself. Education abroad gives you the opportunity to create yourself. Opportunity is knocking at your door, but it won't always. So take the chance because before you know it, life just happens.   

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