No. I’m not talking about the type that you find in the bottom of your pocket.
At times change is awesome.
While growing up I always knew that I wanted to work in another country doing what, I don’t know, but it was an option that I thought about a lot.
Fast forward, I don’t know, 9 or 10 years, and here I am in Portugal.
Now I’m not working here, though I had the option to do so. I am studying.
I arrived energised, motivated and ready to go, and needless to say I hit the ground running!
Now I’m going to admit there’s a sense of fear you get walking into a room with a sea of unfamiliar faces. It’s like your first day at school all over again only this time you worry much more about where to sit and what to say in opposed to whether the little girl sitting next to you would let you see her My Little Pony lunchbox.
As much as it was a new adventure for me, I felt almost child-like again as I had to attempt to figure out the new system I had been introduced to.
I think for me I felt it was much more difficult because everyone kind of stuck with people that they found from their home countries I happened to be the only British student and as much as the lecturers liked me (mainly for the fact that they asked me to make sure they were spelling things correctly), I wanted to also be accepted by my peers.
This difficulty lasted for all of week 1.
Everyone felt shy and all had the same worry about whether or not they would make friends something that you feel at this age should be a little easier than when we were all 5.
But being here has allowed me to further appreciate the various cultural differences between the Portuguese and the British and has also enabled me to explore unfamiliar things that I would not have experienced having stayed in the UK, and I think I appreciate it more because not everybody speaks English. To me that’s awesome because every day is a challenge. I’ve always said I wanted to learn another language, and you are almost forced (in the nicest way dare I say) to do so.
Post-graduation when I start looking for a job, I think me being on the Study Abroad program can only seem like a plus. Speaking to my friends, they constantly applaud me for the fact that I got up and moved countries for a whole year, often stating that I’m brave for doing so and they are proud of me.
But to me it’s almost something engrained within me to challenge myself to try new things, be independent, and educate myself on different cultural levels globally. So doing this I feel was almost inevitable, it was never a question of ‘if’ it was more ‘when’.
This experience has allowed me to realise that I am capable of adapting to new and somewhat challenging situations and that versatility and curiosity are the spice of life.
In my picture posted above (yes it is written on a piece of tissue, but don’t judge me, idea boards do not discriminate) it says:
‘For me ‘change’ is the scariest word in the English Language.
It’s been scary, but now I’ve done this I feel like I can do anything!’
‘Done this’ is in reference to me picking myself up and moving to a different country for a year, embracing a new culture, new people, and realising that change is not as scary as people make it out to be. I mean, it kind of is, but only for a little while.
I have the belief in making yourself better for yourself, because you are just awesome.