If Being Honest Is A Bad Trait, How Many Other Traits Of Mine Are 'Toxic?​'
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Education

If Being Honest Is A Bad Trait, How Many Other Traits Of Mine Are 'Toxic?​'

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."

-Thomas Jefferson

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If Being Honest Is A Bad Trait, How Many Other Traits Of Mine Are 'Toxic?​'

I recently was told that I was too honest. As a woman, I am used to being told that I am too much. Too much effort, too emotional, too outspoken, and the list goes on. However, too honest? Is there such a thing in 2019 as being too honest? I didn't think so until recently.

I studied abroad this last semester through a program that offered endless opportunities. One of these opportunities was being able to blog for the program about my experiences abroad, which I was stoked for! However, little did I know that the things I wrote about my experience were too honest and not of good quality for publishing.

When I went abroad there were so many things that I didn't know that I wish I had been told before I arrived. From simple things like how to work public transportation to more complex and dark things like homesickness, depression, and friendships. I wanted to write about the struggles you endure while studying abroad. I didn't want to sugar coat everything that I had experienced, I wanted it to be raw and real for my audience of prospective students. I wanted to convey the challenges that come along with the experience of a lifetime. I thought that conveying my experience through raw humor and sarcasm that my articles would be a hit. The people above me did not.

Upon submitting my first article, "Ten things nobody tells you about studying abroad," I was told that my work was too dark. It was too honest, too personal, and too negative. "We don't want to scare prospective students into not studying abroad. We want to encourage them to come abroad through our program." I totally understand this. I get it. However, what I don't agree with is the fact that you are only advertising the good things that happen when you study abroad. This particular company didn't advertise or educate prospective students on the following things that I wanted to.

-What to do if your passport is stolen

-How to and why you should register your trip abroad with the US Government

-How cell phones work in other countries

-Culture shock!!

-Why the US Embassy in other countries is so important

-What the US Embassy does and where they are located

-Public transportation

-The fact that most water in Europe is undrinkable and therefore you have to budget for water bottles

-How expensive other countries can be

-Healthcare in other countries: How does insurance work? Where does one go for basic illnesses to mental health counseling?

-Counseling services in your area

-Depression and anxiety will come knocking on your door at 3:00 AM- how to handle that

These are just a few things that I wanted answers to after I arrived in London. I strived to write articles for this company that explained these things and more. I wanted my audience of prospective students to hear these things from a study abroad student, not from a fake, plastic prototype that gets paid to say nothing but good things.

Despite the fact that studying abroad has its downs and low points, it is a life changing experience and you really do discover someone that you didn't know existed. Studying abroad teaches you things you can't ever learn in a classroom. Like how to navigate across countries where English isn't the first, second, or even third language of some people. I wanted to write about good things, too. But often times we only get people who write good things. We don't have enough honest writers who are willing to share their raw experiences with a sarcastic and humorous twist. Honest writers and people, in general, are not the worst people. Their work isn't trash or unacceptable for being real.

If being an overly honest, overly emotional and personal woman is the worst insult I receive in these twenty years of life, then I will wear that label across my back in red ink because I am proud to be honest and share my personal experiences with younger generations who have a great curiosity in life. I will strive to be nothing less than overly honest because I would rather be too honest and too blunt than to be a cheat and a liar. But go ahead. Tell me my honesty won't get me very far. Tell me that my raw way of storytelling is twisted and that younger generations don't need to hear it. Younger generations are hungry for information and stories from experienced adults. I am that experienced adult and I will tell younger generations exactly what went right and wrong while studying abroad.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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