Why Studying Abroad Was the Best Thing I Did for Myself

As of writing this, it has almost been nearly a year since I travelled to SCAD’s Hong Kong campus in the beginning of 2018. It’s strange to think that that happened only at the beginning of this year considering we are about to roll into 2019. There are so many things to say about my experience studying abroad but it’s hard to tell an entire three months in the span of a short article. I don’t want to make a simple list of reasons why you should study abroad because there is something no one will say about studying abroad: it is heavy on you mentally. When I left, I had recently been given my diagnosis from a psychological evaluation that I took due to personal reasons that tie into things that were going on in my life at the time. I can only say so much about how being alone on the other side of the world weighed heavily on me. But you know what? I’m here right now, which means that I did it, and I’m able to be alone. If you’re up to that kind of challenge then by all means go ahead. I don’t want to say that studying abroad is not for everyone because I don’t want to discourage anyone by saying so, but what I mean by that is that some people have certain thresholds for loneliness and how much you can handle being on your own. I had distant relatives I was able to visit while I was in Hong Kong, so when I say I was alone I mean I was mentally alone. I could not be more grateful to be around the people I met while I was there. In order to study abroad and prove to yourself that you can take care of yourself, you have to really be capable of taking care of yourself while you’re gone. I was 20 at the time of staying in Hong Kong, most people that age hardly know what they want in life in terms of long-term plans. There are going to be experiences where you panic because it really sinks in that you’re alone. However, even though I’ve focused more on the negative side of things, I do not regret a single thing about studying abroad. I encourage studying abroad if you yourself are up for the challenge of proving to yourself that you can take care of you and you want to try new things. I was able to learn a bit more about my family history and the small part of Asian heritage I hold. I’m at a point now where I sometimes feel homesick because of how attached I’ve become through my experiences in Hong Kong. There’s so many ways I can wrap up this article but I will close this off with this anonymous quote: “If you want to be strong, learn how to fight alone.”