Are you feeling doubts before leaving to study abroad?
Read a five pieces of advice which will get rid of your doubts once and for all!
It’s not too late
If you are thinking that it’s too late, my advice is believe me, you are wrong. It’s never too late to fulfil your dreams. This might sound banal, but if you really want something, then give yourself a second chance to get it. It could well be that this opportunity will open the doors to your dream world. Of course, you could say that it’s much easier for people like me, who are only beginning their educational journey. However, it does not matter if you are in the middle of your studies or you’ve just finished them, or you are taking a gap year. Both Great Britain and Poland divide their education system into a two-level structure and doctorates. This means that you can begin your studies abroad just after finishing your secondary school, or after graduating with a bachelor or master’s degree. Believe me, there are many opportunities out there, as long as you reach out a hand and grasp them.
Don’t be frightened of loneliness
First of all, let me say this loud and clear — you are not alone. You are surrounded by people, who often find themselves in the same situation as you, since they have also come on their own to a completely new country. They also look for advice. No friends, no family. They have left everything and everyone behind, in the hope that they will manage to achieve what they have been dreaming about all their lives. It isn’t an easy decision — quite the opposite, it could be one of the most difficult ones to make. But I still think that, one day in the future, they will be happy that they took this step to turn their dreams into a reality.
Secondly, one of my lecturer’s advice was, “You’ll never have so much time for yourself in the future as you do now”. Take advantage of this opportunity to develop yourself, because it’s an ideal time for getting in touch with your real self. This is your time, “me time”, which you can use to find out more about yourself and what you actually want from life. The people you want around you, and who you would rather avoid. In addition, I promise you that you will discover interesting and sometimes even amazing things about yourself, which you had never realised before. You will gain self-confidence and you will become braver when it comes to making hard decisions. You will learn about your strengths and weaknesses and, more importantly, you will recognise that your happiness does not and cannot depend on other people. Your happiness comes from you, and you can share it with others. I want you to clearly understand what I am saying. In the long-term, loneliness does not suit or help people, but while you are still young, full of energy and optimism, find yourself and fight for your own life. After all, you have nothing to lose and potentially a great deal to gain.
You deserve more. Don’t compare yourself to others.
Just like often happens in love, sometimes we settle for someone who is not ideal, because we think we don’t deserve anyone better. Someone who will really love and respect us. Who will make us happy. We try to fill the void in our lives with just anyone. But that’s surely not the point. And it’s the same when it comes to studying, and we choose a subject which doesn’t suit our talents or meet our needs. Sometimes this is just a matter of chance – my friends have gone to do this subject, so I’ll do it too. You deserve more. Believe me, education can be a fascinating experience, as long as you find out what is important to you. If you haven’t managed to find the right course in Poland, maybe you need to try another environment and live another lifestyle. My advice is: Why don’t you consider studying abroad? If it doesn’t make you happy or suit you, then you can always go home.
One really important thing to bear in mind is that it’s pointless comparing yourself to others. Are you thinking that people have better academic results than you or speak better English? Maybe, but why on earth are you wasting your energy on these comparisons? You are your own person. You have your own desires and plans. Work on yourself continuously and learn from your own experiences and you will see changes much sooner than you think!
Remember that life is made up of experiences
And the more varied and interesting they are, the more amazing your life will be. Experiences are not always happy ones, and can even be hard and painful. But I still believe that all experiences, even the miserable ones, are hugely valuable. First of all, they teach us something. We become stronger and wiser mentally. We need to learn how to cope with life’s obstacles and draw conclusions which will help us in the future. Unpleasant experiences often push us to change. They act as strong incentives.
Of course, I hope that you will have the most positive experiences and best advice in life, but remember that if things do not go your way, don’t just give up — try and find another avenue to explore, another solution. Be resilient and patient.
What sort of experience could studying abroad offer me? Everyone will have a different take on this, but one thing I am sure of is that it won’t just be about studying, but also living an adventure, which you will remember for the rest of your life!
Don’t give up. Try, try and try again!
Everything has its time. In my case, this statement always comes true. It’s obvious that everyone would like their life to fall into place the minute they arrive at their new university. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. Sometimes you are lucky, and everything pans out, but sometimes things could prove to be quite different to what you were expecting. Should you immediately give up if that happens? I don’t think so, personally, but you have the right to choose and you can try to find another solution.
Be patient. Give yourself time and a good piece of advice. Success will come at the right time and you’ll see that you’ll surprise others, particularly those who didn’t appreciate you fully, or said that you were pretty worthless. Believe me, you can achieve more and you don’t have to fit in with what others have decided about you and your life. Do what you think is right and what is important to you.
I wish you the courage to do the impossible, reach the unreachable and create the unreal. Maybe studying abroad will be the first step, and will totally change your life? Be open to the world and, in particular, all the other people you will meet. Look for your own path, the one that will lead you to happiness. In spite of the fact that I have only just started studying abroad, I have already learned and appreciated many, many things. Remember that everything you have is only yours for a brief moment, and it’s up to you how you decide to spend your time on this earth.
Let me finish by quoting from my favourite film, Letter to Julia, “What and if are two innocent words, but when they are put next to each other they take on strength, and will haunt you for the rest of your life”.