Student Guest Post by Study Smart
Right. This is going to be personal here.
Going through the paperwork, the other hassles and the leap of faith was quite dizzying, really. And, yet again, I will not hesitate to thank Study Smart Overseas Education for all the help; even as I have done this a million times already. Now, when I was where I wanted to be, there remained this one nagging question at the back of my head;
How are you supposed to feel when you are away from all you know?
Are you supposed to be homesick? Are you supposed to, suddenly, transform into those fun-loving and wild characters they show in the movies? Or, are you supposed to remain the docile girl-next-door?
Sometimes, it is a privilege that somebody can dictate everything to you and all you have to do is play out to somebody else’s plan. Sometimes, as I found in my initial month there, it is easier to be told exactly how you are supposed to act and be; like our parents do from the time we are born. However, once you are out there, “in the big, bad world”, equations change.
You see, you are not on familiar territory anymore. You are not with known people anymore. For all you know, you are on a different planet with its own rules and its own people. For the initial days –this seems funny to me now- all I did was people-watching. I thought that I will have to fit-in and all that blah-blah that goes with it, and I tried to observe things accordingly. Of course, London has its own set of public rules to follow but interacting with people was a whole new ball-game.
To begin with, the pace of life that London has, its magnanimous lifestyle, was truly intimidating. The variety of everything that the city offers is extravagant and –if you are not careful- overwhelming. The kind of space that was on offer was exhilarating. I mean, out there, nobody cares about whether and why you are kissing in a park or sitting in a café with a latte all by yourself. You can roam around in the markets aimlessly and nobody would haggle you. You can sit atop the Primrose Hill with your glass of wine and strike up conversations with like-minded people. People! The people there are extremely welcoming. They make sure to be of any help, if you need help, or leave you alone, when you need to be left alone.
Those kinds of options are amazing! It’s like you are in middle of an ocean of just about every conceivable thing and you have to be just a little careful about where you decide to swim. And that kind of decision-making is a lesson in its own.
Have you heard what Warren Buffet said about taking risks? “Never test the depth of the water with both feet.” Studying abroad rams home this lesson in its full glory. The temptation to take risks is almost irresistible. Simply because nobody you know is looking and might never come to know about those. Yet, you are on your own. Anything you do is going to take a round-about and come like a boomerang right in your face. So, what do you end up doing? You learn to be responsible for your own actions. I figure that this is one of the most important things you need in life.
The biggest factor that played its role, for me, was that I had to evolve. I had to test the limits of my capabilities and then push them back, wherever they fell short of expectations. If you believe Karl Marx, then it is all about the survival. And only the fittest survives. I had never been this outspoken and outgoing, and now I am. I feel I am near “fittest”, if not one already. And, for me, I do not think that it would have been possible without going away from my comfort zone. The exposure that one gets while studying abroad in UK or any other part of the the world, is tremendous. Today I feel I am a more confident, bold and out spoken person than I use to be. I have evolved as an individual.
And, yes again, thanks a bunch, Study Smart Overseas Education.