An amazing opportunity that comes your way while in your undergraduate studies is the opportunity to study abroad. This can be for two weeks, a month, or even a full semester. Students can travel to just about any country in the world and learn about their healthcare system, journalism and media facet, the justice system, or just about any facet of the country.
Nearly all the peers I know you have studied abroad say that it is a life-changing experience. An experience that they "could not have gotten here." They now see the world on a larger scale, understand that the world is more complicated than it appears, that there are a plethora of experiences left to obtain and savor.
For the sector of my peers who have had this opportunity, I am so glad for them. I am grateful they have had a life-changing, mind-opening experience. I am thrilled they understand the world is bigger than their hometown or home state. I am ecstatic they are able to compare the lives of those abroad to that of themselves. Words cannot convey my happiness for them all. You are so brave to have stepped out of your comfort zone and be open to new experiences.
However, I want to take a moment to tell those students who may have wanted to study abroad but didn't because they were unable to because of finances, time conflicts, or any other responsibility. You are just as brave. You are brave to have still grown where you are. You searched for opportunities within your reach to grow- academically and personally.
Life doesn't always give each individual every card they need to pursue every "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity. Not every person is granted the ability to chase every dream or desire. This is not to shame any person who is able to take all, a few or even one of these such opportunities. But it is important to recognize that not each individual is able to take such an opportunity, even if the option comes their way. There's not always scholarship money, and if there is, it isn't always achievable.
You are brave if you stepped out of your niche and tried something new, flying in an airplane for the first time, or figuring out a new currency system. But you are just as brave for searching for opportunities within your community that showed you how the poverty level of your area make ends-meets, growing as an individual, and assisting to better your local community.
We are all brave for the decisions we have made, whether it was doing something novel in a new country or growing where you were planted. No decision is easy, it isn't easy to leave your friends and family behind, but it is not easy to pass over an opportunity that may put a financial hardship on yourself of your family.
But at the end of the day, we are all growing in our own way, but we have to recognize that growth is different, and bravery has many different faces. Growing is brave and so are you.