Several mental breakdowns, 6 holidays and a global pandemic later, I’m leaving the land of the Merlion…
The past 8 months have been eventful, to say the least, but it’s been an incredible experience I am so grateful to have had. I don’t think I realised how much it’s allowed me to grow as a person until I actually settled back into the routine of life in my little hometown. I’ve seen and done things that I never would have been able to had I not of been given this opportunity. I’ve been challenged intellectually through the intense learning style of SMU, and mentally from living 18 hours away from home when the furthest I’d been before was Manchester (which is 1 hour drive, for comparison).
There were times during my year abroad I regretted my decision, and felt as though I wasn’t smart enough, independent enough or brave enough to continue. But I’ve learnt that only when you step outside of your comfort zone is when you can really grow. Many others may not of struggled like I did and took it all within their stride, but we are all individuals and how you react to such a big life change can neither be categorised as right nor wrong. I know that the choice to stay and continue to push myself was the right one, and looking back I am so proud of myself for doing so because the reward was an awesome one.
To anyone out there who is reading this anxiously in anticipation of their year abroad, it may seem scary and believe me it can be! But the things you will get out of it in terms of personal growth will be indispensable. Even though at times I doubted myself, I wouldn’t change my decision to do a study year abroad. The experience I had was unforgettable and it’s equipped me with life skills I never even knew I needed. It wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine – but that is life! The important thing is you make the most out of every situation. Singapore, you’ve been amazing and life changing. I’ll be seeing ya!