Friday, May 13, 2016

The downsides of studying abroad - what happens when it's over?

Studying and living abroad is awesome, but what most people don't talk about, is how difficult it is to come back home and to get used to the life you had before. I mean it's difficult enough to leave home, your family and friends, and to go to another country without knowing anyone there, but what's worse is coming back. Not that coming back home is bad, but leaving behind your life there and knowing that you won't be going back is.

During your time abroad you grow attached to people you have just met, you become a new person and you get used to the life that you have created for yourself. You see and you experience so much. And then at one point you just have to leave, because well it was all meant to end at some point.

So you leave everything behind and what's different this time, is that you know that you won't be going back ever again. Yes, you can go back in theory and visit the places you saw and become nostalgic because of your memories there, but you can never create the same environment and be with the same people in the same place and experience the same things that you did during your time there.

And when you get back home you realize that everything is the same and nothing has really changed. But you have and you have so many stories to share and so many things that you have learned, but no one really truly understands it. I mean your friends and family try and they listen to your stories, but at one point everyone else gets tired of this. And then at one point you start losing these characteristics that you developed during your time abroad. You fall back to the old patterns and all that remains is your memories.

You want to keep the friendships that you developed, but you cannot really be together with these people that you left behind or who went back to their own homes. So you still talk, but when something good or bad happens to them, you can't really be with them. You can try to support them as well as you can, but it's never the same.

So at one point you start asking yourself is it worth it? Is it worth going abroad again? To move to another country, to leave behind your family and friends, to make new friends just to leave them behind afterwards?
Are the experiences and the memories you gained worth it?

What I've realized  lately, is that they truly are and if anyone would ever ask me if I regret it, I would definitely say no. And if anyone would ask me if I would recommend others to go abroad, I would say yes. Without any hesitation.
There are cons to everything and this is what makes living abroad temporarily sad and painful, but everything else that comes with is great. You gain life-lasting memories, learn more in a short period than you would in years. You step out of your comfort zone and learn so much about yourself. And you meet people that you would have never met.

And this all is amazing and so much worth it!

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