Most of the young people these days seek for experiences that will make them different from others. I always wanted to go on an exchange in Canada, to a place where no one knew my name or knew who I was, I always wanted to challenge myself in every way, and I can say, that I have completed a big step so far.
I remember it all and it feels like it was yesterday. August 25th 2015.
I couldn't sleep that night. I was thinking about all the good things, that would happen this year. I said good by to friends, family, and my country. The most weired thing was, that I would live somewhere else for the next 10 months. At the moment, you don't think about these things. I was scared, but so excited. It was time to leave the real world and make my dream come true. Time to leave the world, where I grew up and became the person I was at that time, to meet a new world where a lot of things would change me. I knew the year ahead of me would change me a lot and I knew I would have to dig deep inside to find the strength to adjust to the big changes in my life, I would run in to.
The last time you looked at your house. My hands were shaking as I looked down at them. Just hours from now I would arrive in the country of opportunities. Hours from now I would walk into my new home. I would unpack my things in my new room, and have dinner with my “new” family – kindhearted people who opened their home for me, and just had been names on a sheet of paper before that. Every emotion passed through me as I reflected on my life, and how much this was going to change it. How long would it take me before I would start missing home? What if I suddenly didn’t remember how to speak English? What if people would look at me like I was a foreign alien? What if I missed out on too much that was going to happen at home? I would desperately try to hold on to every person and every memory of my home country. Leaving and saying goodbye to your family and friends, knowing you’re not going to see them for the next 10 months is probably the hardest thing you can ever expose a 16-year-old for. I had expectations about getting out of my comfort zone, improve my English skills, become a more independent girl, do something new and exciting and just live in the moment.
I spent 8 months in Canada right now. So many ups and downs. People don't know, what you're going through. They don't know about your feelings and emotions. They don't know how it is to leave your life behind you for 10 months. 10 is just a number, but it is actually such a long time. A school in Canada, how am I supposed to know how that will work out. Uniforms? Who wants to sit with me in Lunch? Do I have to ask this random Canadians at my school where my classes are? What event is Mass? My school bus, how can I find the right one if there are 20 yellow ones at the same spot?
Being an exchange student is not always easy and fun. I learned amazing English, but you can't expect that it will be without mistakes. Yes, you’ll meet a lot of new people and make some great memories. It’ll be painful and tough and sometimes you’ll be really emotional. But you know what? It’s worth it. It’s all worth it because in the end, you'll keep this experience with you forever.
I never thought, that I would say this, but I'm so extremely proud of myself!!!