College is the time to get away, to move somewhere new and experience life away from your family. Well, I just decided to go a little further than most people, 2493 miles to be exact.
Moving is always a big adjustment, a new place, new people, a new routine all at once, but moving to another country or your own it’s a different experience. I was born and raised in Colombia but decided to come to New York for school, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
It was overwhelming at first to be alone in a place that I wasn’t familiar with, away from my family but overtime I became familiar with everything and the new place started to feel like my second home.
The cultural shock is different for everybody, everyone comes from different countries, some might feel like nothing changed, for others it might be a brand new environment. But regardless, it is different. America is quite a unique place to study abroad. Almost everyone that I’ve met has a different cultural background; not only are you experiencing a new country but you’re also experiencing little parts of everyone else’s culture, which makes this experience even more amazing. Interacting with people from different cultures gives an opportunity to open your mind and realize that everyone sees the world in a different way, and that’s ok.
Living in a place with such a cultural mix has helped me open my mind and push me to educate myself. The way someone grows up affects the way they think and process situations. However, when becoming an adult, we all should expand our views and knowledge to fully form our own opinion, beyond what has always felt familiar.
Living on your own and taking care of everything yourself is also a big change. I live with my parents, and never quite realized how time consuming and expensive the little things can be. Laundry, groceries, cleaning up and making sure you always have what you need, all adds up. Most of us just never notice because our parents, or whoever takes care of us, are usually the ones taking care of all that.
Being on my own has made me grow up and become more responsible, not because I have to, but because I want to. I’m the one who decides when and how I do everything, which has never been the case before. I had to adjust to a new country all on my own, without my parents or my family walking me through every step, which to my surprise, was easier than I ever expected.
This whole experience has helped me transition from a teenager living with her parents to an adult.
All together this experience has helped me grow up emotionally and mentally. College is not only a time to get a degree, but also a time to ease your way into adulthood and become a better version of yourself.
The past four years have changed the way I think and behave for the better. I am now more aware of others and how my actions can affect people around me. Everyone’s different backgrounds and they affect their opinion and to how to think and look beyond what affects me. More specifically, I’ve met people that feel like my family now, and people that I would’ve never met otherwise, if it wasn’t for this experience.
The world is too big to stay in one place forever. Experiencing different cultures changes the way we see the world and helps us to understand it a little bit better.
I’m not the same person I was three years ago and I’m sure it is all because I decided to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new.