Wow. Here I am. Close to the end of the probably best semester I’ve ever had. I can still remember the day when I got the E-mail: ‘You are accepted at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.’. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start this wonderful, adventurous, and new chapter in my life. There was so much to do: applying for my VISA, booking the flight, applying for my housing, packing my suitcase, saying goodbye to all my friends and family. And with every step I took, my feelings got more and more confused. I was excited and at the same time scared of what is awaiting me during this semester.
Now five months are over and I can just wonder where all the time has gone. I can say I enjoyed every second and I am glad that I dare to study abroad. I met a lot of wonderful people I am really thankful for everything they did to me. And I, for sure, met some friends for life. But it’s not only the people who made my time in the USA as amazing as it was. Living alone in a country where you’re a total stranger, where you’re not fluent in the spoken language, where you’re far away from everybody you love, can be scary sometimes. And of course, I had moments when I thought what am I doing here? How should I handle all this? But I made it.
Every challenge, every difficulty, every chance I had to face helped me growing. I am for sure a different person now than I was before I started my journey. But I like it. I am older and -even if it sounds funny out of the mouth of a 20 year old girl- a little wiser. I learned so much about a different culture, about different people, about myself. If I had the chance to turn back time, I would go back to the daythis adventure started and do everything just the same. I am thankful for getting the chance to make this amazing experience and I encourage everybody who gets the chance to take it! You won’t regret it.
Thanks to the USA, thanks to the best roommate, thanks to everyone I met for giving me a second home.
Can’t wait to come back soon. ♥
A couple of days ago, I read an interesting article about several reasons why the Generation Y is mostly unhappy with their current situation (click here for the original article). While I read it, I found more and more parallels and consensuses in my own life (probably as I am part of the Generation Y) what made me think my own happiness.
The author states that kids born in the Generation Y were given the idea of unbounded opportunities and optimism by their parents. That’s true. My parents always told me I could reach whatever I want to and that if I work for something, I will achieve it. Of course, I might experience up and downs during my lifetime, but in general the ups would outweigh. For the author, this doctrine is the reason why the Generation Y is looking for a more fulfilling career rather than for a secure one. I find evidences for it in talks with my dad, too. He always wants to know when I will start working to make money as he started his career when he was 15. My answer is still the same: ‘I don’t know yet, Dad. I’m not 100% sure what exactly I wanna do.’ We are all looking for this one career that makes us happy. We do not really care about the fact that as long as we are looking for the right career, we sacrifice the opportunity of making money and building the base for our own life.
Another point I definitely agree with is the phenomena of Facebook image crafting the author points out. Social media is pretty important today. We use it on a daily basis. We try to post pictures and things which throw a good light on us. Honestly, who wouldn’t be mad at his/her friend if he/she posted a really embarrassing or ugly picture of you on your timeline? Who would delete it right away? We are all concerned about what others think about us and we normally don’t want to show too much of our flaws and mistakes. So, if you look at all these different Facebook pages, Twitter accounts or Instagram pictures, you see how perfectly the lives of the people around you seem to be. To be honest, sometimes I get a little jealous. And yes, I start comparing myself with this putatively perfect people.
So what do I take away from this article? Hmm..maybe that I should still work hard for my dreams even though I might be able to achieve what I want. Nothing can be created out of nothing! And maybe that I shouldn’t pay too much attention on what’s going on on social media. If I am happy with my life, who cares about how others are doing? Everyone is fighting their own battles, so concentrate on yourself rather than on others.
I’m already in the States for exactly two months now. Time passes so fast. I can still remember the moment when I stepped into the airplane and I did not know what to expect for the next months. I was so excited about getting to know new people, to study in a different country, to handle everything on my own. But the most interesting and at the same time scariest thing for me was the question: Will I change? If so, how? In which direction ?
I still don’t know how it will end and how different I will be when I go back to Germany. But I already know that I changed.. It is not only about friends telling me that I talk different and got different opinions about things than I had a couple of months ago. I mention it also by myself. I’ll get more independent with every day, I think more about what I really want and I already strongly improved my time management skills.
I like the feeling of developing myself everyday… 🙂