The student hub is bustling with life until late in the night. The library is packed with students. The lines for the coffee shops are long. Here at DIS, it’s clear, finals season is upon us. So, I’ve been spending a lot of my time with friends, studying. Last weekend, in the midst of some of this studying, my friend put down their pencil and looked up at me. They said that studying for finals is, sadly, reminding them of the approaching end of our time in Denmark. With that in mind, they asked me what I’m going to take back home with me. I thought that my answer to that would be worth sharing here on my blog.
Coming to another country without knowing anyone and without knowing the language is scary to say the least. Moving into a house with a total stranger and navigating a new city is anxiety-inducing. To deal with these things, I was forced to be more bold that I had ever been before. I’m generally a shy person, but I had to be confident enough to walk up to strangers and ask for directions or help. I had to be daring enough to try to speak Danish, even though I knew it wouldn’t be perfect. My support system, as I had known it, wasn’t here to get me through tough times or difficult situations. I had to be there, for myself. In the process of being bold, I came to know myself a little bit better. Because I had to do things completely on my own, I had to stop and think about just what it was that I actually wanted to do. I usually place a lot of pressure on myself to get perfect grades. Being away from home, I realized that maybe that aspect of me was a result of my surroundings. I did not, by any means, stop putting effort into class. But, this semester, I realized that living life to the fullest is more important than perfect grades. Rather than studying all night, I reserved a certain amount of time for it, then went to Tivoli or got ice cream with friends. I realized that I was only here for so long, and that making memories was my priority.
All this to say, as cliche as it sounds, I found myself while studying abroad. Well, maybe not “found”, I was always there, but I got to know myself better. I tried knew things and pushed myself. It is this that I plan to take back home with me.