My experience studying away in New Zealand has definitely set me on the right path to be successful, both personally and professionally, because it has taught me in so many different ways. Living abroad changes not only how you see the world apart from your home, but how you see yourself as an individual. One of the biggest, and maybe the most important thing I’ve gained from this experience is confidence.
Now knowing that I can thrive and adapt to a new and different environment, whether it be in the classroom, within my personal living space, or simply doing day to day things, I’m the most confident I’ve ever been. Feeling confident in yourself can be a game-changer; being able to do things without hesitation and having pride in everything you do makes your choices and actions that much more impactful. Personally, having confidence makes me worry less about what others think and helps me to focus on living my best life in ways that make me happy. Academically, it helps me to be successful in both my schoolwork and in making critical connections with students, professors, and people that can help me to get a job after college. Professionally, having confidence shows people you’re serious about your career and makes you seem more responsible and respectable. Your confidence tells others to have confidence in you.
Studying away made me realize there’s no reason to be unsure of yourself, because when it really comes down to it, you can get yourself through anything. Even the hardest challenges and biggest bumps in life can be overcome. When you make decisions, you may as well go all in and put everything you have into it, because even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted, great effort goes a long way. I remember first coming to New Zealand not really knowing my way around the city or how to get to places. The fear and uncertainty begs you to just stay in your room, but I quickly learned that just committing yourself to exploring and going into unfamiliar places, though scary at first, is so much fun and so rewarding in the end. In one of my classes at the university, I was worried because it was an upper level course with students that had been in college longer than I was. Over the semester, I learned that the best thing you can do is trust yourself and trust your ability, and that having confidence can push you further than you might think.
As I get closer to graduating and continue to work towards a career in science, the confidence I’ve gained from my experience abroad will give me an edge as I make important academic and life decisions. I think looking back at this study away will remind me that I am capable of doing many things. Success comes from within and the only person who can pave that way is yourself.