Six Things I Learned in Six Months

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I am sitting in my room. It is a dreary day and also Friday, a contrasting combination for a typical 20-year-old college student awaiting the weekend. The combination of melancholy and relief cascade a sense of reality over me. For the last six weeks, the monotonous battle between accepting what I feel and conveying how I feel has instantaneously inspired me. As this feeling continues to surge through me, I begin to write. I begin to mentally regurgitate the roller-coaster I have been riding since January. I am ready to open up, not only to others, but to myself, about what transpired in the last half-a-year.

I spent the last six months of my life studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. From an outside perspective, the idea of studying abroad is living in another country, taking classes, and observing how a culture differentiates from yours. But to me, it was not any of this. It was not me sitting in class bored, whether enjoying the subject matter or not. It was not trying new food only to decide that comfortability only existed in the food my home country prepared. It was not going to cliché destinations and taking a picture that every other tourist could provide.

No.

This was beyond anything I just mentioned. My time abroad changed my sense of being wholeheartedly, and the biggest reason I changed was simply because I did not expect to.

If I am being 100 percent honest, the reason I chose to go abroad was not to better my cultural perspective or to learn another language. I chose to move across the world because I was running away from situations that had harmed me, were harming me, and had the potential to harm me in the future. Now, this may seem obnoxiously pitiful, but it is the truth. I was fighting something within myself that I could not justify, let alone comprehend. The past year had been daunting to say the least. I felt myself propelling down a path of pain. In result, I surrendered in bitter resentment towards anything I came in contact with.

I had lost myself.

Until recently, I was reluctant to express how I felt. I always viewed communicating emotion as a sign of weakness or a sign of neediness. In result of feeling this way, I made a brash decision to run away. This time I ran to another country.

There is not enough paper space nor time to express how the choice I made to study abroad affected me. However, there are many significant moments within that time frame that are past due being shared. I have given each much thought, and compiled a list of these realizations.

These are the six things I learned in six months…