Studying abroad is pretty cool but it can also ruin your life. After a lot of soul searching I’ve come up with at least 12 reasons (that I’m aware of) why studying abroad has made me more difficult to deal with, and changed the course of my life in a way I was not prepared for.
It enhanced my wanderlust
Which has ruined my life all on its own.
It taught me another language
2 languages in one brain? No one can live at that speed!
It forced me to talk to my friends
Before I went away I saw (or sent texts to) my friends everyday. We had pancake breakfasts on the weekends and stayed up together to study for tests. Going abroad forced me to figure out how to maintain relationships with people I don’t see everyday. This means I now spend most of my time writing birthday messages and fretting over the state of my international messaging plans.
It made me want to go to grad school
I also studied abroad in grad school, so this might be a chicken-egg sort of situation.
It made me less of a pushover
Studying abroad taught me how to respect myself in relationships. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it also gives you the space to figure out what you really need from a relationship. Attempting long distance relationships has taught me a lot about myself and the kind of person I want to be in general.
It made me a risk taker
Studying abroad teaches you it’s ok to take risks, do I really need to explain this one?
It ruined my social life
If you want to travel you need money and unless you have your priorities totally out of whack you’ll do your best to come up with a lot of that money yourself. I’ve worked jobs with terrible hours and skipped plenty of nights out just to afford going abroad, and honestly, I’d do it again.
It made me kind of creepy
I’m now that weird girl who’s totally comfortable hanging out alone in airports. Creepy.
It made me an environmentalist
It was either studying abroad or watching FernGully as a kid. Either way, my friends can attest that this has generally ruined everyone’s life.
It made me way too easy going
You can’t control your flight, the weather, the communist party’s stance on facebook or really anything but your own attitude. Studying abroad taught me to chill out.
It taught me to prioritize like a grown up, sort of
New pair of jeans today or night out in Beijing tomorrow? For me it’s no longer a difficult choice.
It made me obsessed with things that are going out of style
No, I’m not talking about my fashion sense, though that has probably suffered too. I mean things like newspapers, post cards, books, and maps. As if I need more clutter in my life.