Musings on Living Abroad
I’d like to clarify that the following is a very subjective experience and even though I hope my conclusions will be helpful to you, they might not reflect the experience of other people in similar situations.
As a Bilgym student, you’ve probably considered spending some time abroad. We’re strongly encouraged to do so, because it is a “wonderful opportunity.” I heard this particular phrase from almost everyone, shortly before I went to America. Because of my dad’s job, we were all moving to New Jersey for a year.To be honest, I wasn’t very much looking forward to going there, I was much more scared than excited. And I couldn’t understand why living abroad should change my life. So I arrived to my new destination full of scepticism and doubt. Unfortunately, I remained in this state of mind for a good half of the year I spent there. But then something changed.
Crossing the threshold of the second semester became the tipping point. I started looking at my life, the people around me and even myself differently. For a long time, I didn’t quite understand what happened. I’ve been thinking about it a lot since I came back. It is true that after the first semester, I wasn’t so lonely anymore, I got used to the way the school worked and I had built a life which I enjoyed. But there was something else which made the last five months abroad feel so different from any other part of my life. It was completely unprecedented, much more exciting and important. I’ve come to the conclusion that the thing which made me look at life in this new light was my limited time. I only had a couple of months before I left this place, these people, this way of life, and probably never came back. Knowing this, I couldn’t waste my life the way I used to in the past. I stopped putting things off. I joined every club I was interested in, even when I thought I didn’t have time. When I knew someone who looked cool, but we didn’t talk that much, I made extra effort to become their friend. Even when I was busy, I still attended every exciting event I could possibly fit into my schedule. And every moment I could, I spent with the people I cared about. Because of this attitude, I lived every day to the fullest and felt as if I was glowing with life.
It’s been really hard, trying to maintain this attitude after I came back. Mundane things somehow get in the way of pursuing what you want when you’re not limited by time . But even though I don’t always succeed, life is so much better when I try to live this way.Those of you who are now, or will soon be abroad, try to enjoy every minute of it. And those of you who are staying in Slovakia, I encourage you to look at your life as if though you had a time limit. Don’t be afraid, don’t be lazy. Don’t let anything get in the way of pursuing the life you want. I assure you that you will be much happier this way.