Study Abroad Is Worth It

Study Abroad Is Worth It

Many people question if it's worth it to travel with complete strangers to another country. I'm here to tell you it's 100% worth it.


I recently was able to go on a study abroad internship to Belize for a week. I was so uneasy about it and I almost didn't even get to go. I missed the deadline and by the grace of god the deadline was extended. If it weren't for that extension, I wouldn't have met the people I did.

I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and this trip really helped to prove that theory right.

I met some of the best people in my life right now on that trip and I'm extremely grateful for that. Words can not describe what study abroad did for me.

Sydney Mergler

I really was uneasy about study abroad because I've only ever traveled to Europe and around the US so I really didn't know what to expect. I got so much more than I deserved. Belize changed me in a way that I could never truly be thankful enough. I not only fell in love with my career path but I fell in love with myself all over again. Study abroad showed me how important my future career is and how much I'm truly excited for it.

It's hard, especially during final season, to find motivation to keep on going with school. This trip helped me find that motivation again. Working with the children and knowing that I'm making a difference, no matter how small or large it may be, really is life changing.

Even just writing about this experience brings tears of complete joy to my eyes. I've waited a good couple of weeks to get to writing about how this trip changed me because I still can't believe it even happened. We really tend to take many things for granted and Belize definitely taught me to never take any experience for granted and to cherish each and every moment.

Sydney Mergler

This trip also taught me to get out of my comfort zone. I stick to what I know and my routine most days due to anxiety. I'm constantly pushing myself out of my comfort no matter how badly I want to talk myself out of it. I kept trying to talk myself out of this trip but I'm so glad I, with the help of two of my very close friends, snapped some sense into me.

I'm grateful for the friendships I've made and the memories that I will never forget. I can genuinely say each and every person I met on this trip has a pure and beautiful soul. I've never met such genuinely good people in my life. Each and everyone of them inspired me in one way or another without even knowing it. The ASL students inspired me to want to learn sign and be able to communicate with the Deaf community. Seeing them do what they do really touched my heart. My fellow future SLP's taught me to love my career and helped prove to me that I made the right decision.

Thank you to each and every one of you to being approachable and friendly. This was my second study abroad trip ever and I can honestly say it was the best one I've ever been on. Every single person was nice to each other. There were no cliches or mean girl behavior on this trip because we all came for a similar purpose and are all kind adults.

Sydney Mergler

It opened my eyes. It got me out of the dark place that I was heading for and made me realize what really maters, the future. If it weren't for Belize I wouldn't have gotten my life back together and taken control. So thank you study abroad, you changed my life and I hope that other people can have a positive experience like I did.

Sydney Mergler

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.


So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?



Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.


I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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