I was always the girl who played things safe, but when I heard about a study abroad trip that consisted of scuba diving in the Cayman Islands, something told me to take that leap of faith. I have learned to always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that;s the one that is going to help you grow.
Not only did this trip help me grow, but allowed me to open my eyes to possibilities that I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams.
1. To Always Take Risks
From the variety of plane rides to immersing myself in a different culture, to being thousands of miles away from home, I took a risk that I never once have regretted to this day. During my trip, I fully embraced the country that was around me and always kept my mind open to different scenarios.
The best memories I made abroad were the times that took risks. I took the chance to dive 60 feet down into the Carribean Sea and help contribute to marine life and coral research. I would have never been able to experience life under the sea if I stayed on the boat instead.
It is important to take these risks so you never catch yourself saying, what would have happened if I actually did do that? I am so thankful I took every opportunity I had while abroad so when I came back I could say I did it all.
2. Experience Something New Every Day
No matter big or small, every day is a chance to experience something new.
While on my trip, it was easy to get stuck in the typical school routine with lectures and research taking up most of my day. It was only a couple days in when I realized that I was on a tropical island where experiencing different possibilities were endless. By trying new foods, exploring different locations, hanging out with the wildlife, talking with the locals, and researching the culture I was able to experience all of what the trip was able to offer me.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone and taking advantage of the opportunities that studying abroad gave me to experience so many new things was an amazing lesson to learn.
3. Care For The World Around Me
The last day on the island we spent 45 minutes of our time cleaning up the beach.
To my surprise, we were able to collect a whopping 7 bags of trash that consisted of used syringes, rubber shoes, plastic containers, pop bottles, random caps, pill bottles, plastic jugs, and the list keeps going on. Since there are only less than 200 people on the island, the majority of trash came from tourists who either visited the island or stuff that had washed upon the shore.
It was disgusting to see how much humans are negatively impacting our oceans. If we could take two seconds out of our day to do more recycling or buying eco-friendly items, we could have the ability to save what is broken. This lesson hit home for me and I now advocate to use less plastic in my own home for the sake of what I experienced on my trip.
4. Always Have Self-Confidence
Going into the trip, I had so many self-doubts that would run through my head each day. Am I going to be able to actually go scuba diving in the ocean? Will I be able to handle being away from my friends and family for this long? Can I fit everything I need into one suitcase? Am I going to get lost in the airport?
Once I was able to unpack into my dormitory and explore where I was staying, my worries began to melt away. I gained the confidence and motivation to start having thoughts of "you can do this". For every experience on the trip that thought was slightly "scary", I started to give myself to confidence I needed to smash through every obstacle on the trip.
The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do and for me, this made a whirl wind of a difference.
5. Becoming Independent Is Important
Although studying abroad with a group was amazing and I always felt the support from my classmates whenever I needed a little extra, it was helpful for myself going out and being independent on my own. I was on the trip for myself and to really grow who I was as a person.
I was able to do things on my own and be content with being by myself. This gave me the chance to enjoy myself as company and figure out who I am as a person. Being with a group, it was easy to get sucked into doing what everyone else was doing but by splitting away and doing my own things, I was able to explore what really interested me without worry of keeping up with the rest of the group.
- Have a Child Studying Abroad? 5 Reasons to Get a New Credit Card ›
- 5 Lessons You'll Learn From Study Abroad | Her Campus ›
- 5 Years Later: What I REALLY Learned from Study Abroad ... ›
- 5 Life Lessons I've Learned From Studying Abroad | The College ... ›
- 5 life changing lessons I learned from studying abroad - six-two by ... ›