With less than three weeks left of my program in Dublin, I’m starting to feel the bittersweet emotion of leaving this wonderful country. These past three months have shaped me into an independent traveler. I’ve learned to adapt to a new culture and a completely different environment than what I’m used to at Indiana University. At IU, I feel the comfort of being only an hour drive away from home. Here, I have learned to love the sky I’m under and appreciate this experience and all that comes with it. As the saying goes, home is what you make it.
In the beginning of this program, I was placed under the same roof with three girls I had never met before in my life. The first week was spent trying to get to know each other by telling silly stories about our lives at home and what makes us, us. These ‘strangers’ have now become some of my closest friends. It’s odd to think that three months have passed with these girls because it has only seemed like a week. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my friends at home very much, but it’s a great feeling when you can be put out of your comfort zone and still be able to connect with others and form lifelong friendships. We have spent nights laughing about absolutely nothing and other nights talking about things we wouldn’t tell another soul. The fact that I can trust these girls with secrets is going to make me miss them that much more when this is all over.
The main reason I studied abroad was to challenge myself. I have never been away from home for more than a month and half. This has truly tested my strength because, I’m not going to lie, it has been very difficult at times to be away from my friends and family at home. But now that I only have a couple of weeks left, I know that I have the power to do anything I want to do in this world. I have pushed myself to go out of my comfort zone, to get an internship abroad (and do it successfully), to maintain relationships abroad and at home, and last but not least, to learn everything I possibly can about my homeland.
In the midst of my life here abroad, I have also learned how to live more like an adult. For example, in our apartment we have to hand wash our dishes, sweep, clean the bathrooms, go to the store for groceries, cook our own meals, deal with apartment malfunctions (leaking dishwasher that never ended up working, running water being cut off, door handle breaking), etc.
If I’ve learned anything abroad, it’s that I’m a self-managed, independent woman who is ready to take on the world and all of its obstacles that come with it. I wouldn’t trade this experience with anyone and I’m so proud of myself for taking a leap of faith into the unknown.
“Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”