Studying abroad is scary. It's not for the fainthearted; it's not for people who want to take the easy way out. Studying abroad is for people who like to take life by the horns so it's perfect for Witt students.
I spent two months in Australia this past summer. I'm from a small town and have never spent time in a big city. I had left the country once for a week the summer before, but I had never left the continent. The 16-hour plane ride stared me straight in the face, and I stared it back.
That happened a few times over the summer semester. It happened when I stepped off the plane into a huge, yet beautiful city. It happened on the day I snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef. It happened when I didn't know how to get on the trains or get around anywhere in Sydney. It happened when I was in the middle of a national park in the outback and had no idea how to make the three-hour trip back to the city.
When something came up, when I didn’t know how to do it, there wasn't anyone to turn to. I couldn’t call my mom or my dad. I couldn’t look it up unless I had Wi-Fi. I was on my own. And I learned that it’s when you’re completely on your own that you truly find out who you are.
I found that I am strong. I can persevere. I can do anything I set my mind to. I can acclimate to my surroundings. I can adjust and learn a new way of life. I can appreciate my opportunities. I can find what I need to not only survive but thrive in a new environment. I found out so much about myself in those two months I spent abroad -- things that make me strong, as well as just the sheer victory that I had succeeded.