What They Don’t Always Tell You About Studying Abroad: Going It Alone

October 23, 2018

I have always heard people talk about the friendships they’ve made whilst studying abroad and how those friendships last a lifetime. That is true, however, no one ever mentions how much time you spend alone when you’re studying abroad either. You’re not always surrounded by a group of friends who are constantly laughing at your jokes and are crying because they know you have to go back to your home country. There are moments where it’s just you and your thoughts and I guarantee you, it’s one of the most liberating feelings ever.

I have now mastered the art of doing things alone. I know what you’re thinking, but I promise you, there is nothing sad or depressing about it. I have looked at myself in the mirror and told myself not to waste such an amazing opportunity. I have told myself not to be afraid to try new things even if it means trying them alone. I have stopped being afraid of what everyone thinks and I’ve decided to only worry about what I think. To be honest, we will go many places alone. However, the confidence to still thrive in a new environment by yourself is a skill worth having for the rest of your life.

I have taken myself to lunch, taken myself to the club and walked around the city of Nottingham, England surrounded by nothing but my thoughts. I have felt free, I have felt liberated, but most importantly I have learnt a lot about who I am and what I think. I have fallen in love with all the versions of myself and who I continue trying to be.

There’s so much to look forward to during study abroad. Firstly, you are in a new place. Take some time to figure out who you are and what you value. Secondly, do not be afraid to take risks. If no one wants to go somewhere, go by yourself. Grab a pair of earphones and hit the town. There is so much life to be lived that you cannot spend your days waiting for someone to join you. Thirdly, whilst on this journey alone, fall in love with yourself and I promise you people will be drawn to you and your energy. You will always make friends, that I can promise you. Lastly, you are going to spend the rest of your life with yourself. So travel alone, eat out alone, take that trip alone. Don’t let the weight of living stop you because at the end of the day when you lie in bed all alone, know that it was you who was brave enough to conquer this world alone.

Patience is studying abroad with ISEP at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. from Thompson Rivers University in Canada.

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