Day 154: Study Abroad is…What You Make of It / by Sarah Kakusho

My final full week here ends with today. I won’t say much since I have loads saved for my last entry in terms of summing up study abroad for me.

BUT, I do have to say it was quite an emotional, physical, spiritual adventure.

No doubt that if I hadn’t built up my spiritual stamina, I would not have gotten through this alive, cheerful and positive. I went through a lot of shit, especially these past few weeks and I still wonder how I got through it. But certainly a large part of it had to do with the support that I had gotten, both direct and indirect. Thank you.

I learned that, a lot of things in life, not just study abroad in my case, are dependent on how you look at it. Every situation has a pleasing side and a not-so-pleasing side. You can spend an entire lifetime looking at the negative things in life and complaining about them and be miserable because of them. But, what good does that do you? It adds more stress and everything feels like it’ll take an eternity to get through.

But, if you look on the flip side, you visualize the light at the end of the tunnel, you won’t let things take over how you feel. You have absolute control of how you feel, regardless of your situation. In turn, not only does this help YOU, but it also helps other people around you to feel the same.

I know I have had my moments where I would get clobbered by my negativity, but then my friends would help me bring me up to a better, more positive state of mind. I guess that’s why people need people, to motivate each other when they are down, to give a lending hand. Study abroad has definitely helped me understand that.

Why did I blabber on about outlook? It’s what helped me make the most out of my study abroad. When I first arrived, I was very negative about my situation. That, in turn, affected my way of living here. But, I later realized that I was just arrogant and negative, and I had a huge ego glued to my forehead. After I had thrown those away in the trash, liberating myself of junk that I don’t need anyway, life was good.

I can’t say I traveled as much as the other people around the program, but what I did do in Buenos Aires and the trips I took outside of the city, I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s thanks to the awesome friends that I have who dragged me out into the world; they are sadly not with me now. They left yesterday on the group flight.

It’s weird and somewhat kind of a slap in the face with an “I told you so,” but the moment I woke up this morning and realized that I wasn’t going to receive anymore random texts from my friends, it was kind of sad. Didn’t know what to think really. But somehow, I feel that’s the next step I need to take when I get back.

To continue what I’ve created in the 5 months I was here in Buenos Aires.