I think the hardest part of being abroad is feeling guilty for wanting to go home in the last month, and then actually taking the steps to go home; packing and saying goodbye, to name a few.
I’m going to be completely honest; I have absolutely loved my semester in New Zealand. This has, by far, been the best semester of my college experience. I procrastinated packing my things in the days leading up to my flight home, because I did not want to admit that I was leaving.
But at the same time, these past 4.5 months have also been one of the hardest semesters for me. Missing my family and friends at home has been the hardest part about being abroad, by far. Making new friends was intimidating, but worth it, as I forged lasting relationships with a few wonderful people. Exploring unfamiliar places was exciting.
But not being able to share these adventure-filled experiences with the ones I love at home was so hard. For any student about to study abroad; do not feel guilty about wanting to go home to see them in the remaining months, or for wanting to share every living minute with them. Your time abroad has been life changing, and it is only natural to want to share these experiences with the people you love.
In the last two weeks of my time in New Zealand, after my final ‘vacation’ to Australia, I could not wait to go home. And I felt bad about this. But I realized that it is a natural feeling, and to embrace this, as I can always come back to New Zealand when I am older. And maybe next time I can bring those whom I missed along with me.
From my time abroad, I learned that my favorite memories stemmed from the times when I most felt alive. Cliche, I know. But I had never had the chance to experience this feeling on my own before, which is why being abroad without bringing a significant other or best friend along with me ended up being a rewarding decision. My experience has redefined me, and my views and outlook on life and the world have changed.
(The featured sunset photo was taken from the Port Hills of the Canterbury region, over looking Christchurch. I did one final solo hike two days before I left to enjoy the sunset and make my peace with leaving New Zealand.)
More Blogs From This Author
<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:2.35pt; margin-right:12.3pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin-left:5.0pt"><span style="line-height:115%">One fun fact about myself is that I am not sure the exact date of my birthday! Before I was adopted, I was a baby in China and my parents could not keep me because of the one child policy. Therefore, as was the way of many families in China in the 90s, I was left on the steps of the police station. When the police found me, they estimated my age. This estimate is the age on my birth certificate and on every official document. It is interesting to think about my birthday being one day before it is written, or maybe a few days after!</span></p>