I always knew that I wanted to get out of the United States. My trip to Europe during my senior year could not have come at a better time in my life. I had found myself stuck in a high school rut. I was constantly surrounded by the same people, every day, and I was having the same conversations and hearing the same drama over and over again. Everything had pretty much become monotonous, and I found myself wondering what else was out there. I knew that I needed a breath of fresh air. What I didn't know, however, was that all I needed was a little bit of perspective.
Now, I'm not talking about the kind of perspective that being 10,000 feet in the air on an airplane gives you (of course, the views were spectacular). I'm talking about the kind of perspective that you gain by getting out of your comfort zone and flying to a foreign country with classmates that you might not normally talk to. Being so far away from the world that I knew and totally immersing myself in another culture for a week was so therapeutic and eye-opening. I learned the different lifestyles aside from that of American high schoolers, tried countless new foods, and saw breathtaking views that I still have set as my laptop background over a year later.
Most importantly, however, I learned that my petty high school problems were so small in the grand scheme of things. I accepted that the calculus test I didn't do so hot on wouldn't matter in a year. That boy that I thought was the center of my world, suddenly wasn't anymore. Realizations like that were so pivotal in my mental growth. After everything that I had endured in high school, it was so refreshing to know that there were so many opportunities in the world. There were so many people to meet and places to see. I don't think that I would be the person I am today or be in the same mental state that I am in today if I hadn't taken the leap and gone abroad.
So, my advice to you is simple: Go. Go on that school trip. Go on that cruise. Or start small and go on that camping trip that your dad has been begging you to join in on. No matter how small it may seem, anything that puts you out of your comfort zone and into a new experience will be immensely worth it in the long run. Gaining perspective may help you with whatever problems that you're enduring and help you see that maybe, they aren't as world-crushing as you thought. Maybe, just maybe, you will learn a little something about yourself. You never know until you go.