Studying abroad, as the name implies, is an educational experience, but these three months in England so far have been filled with learning experiences both in and out of my classes. The different circumstances, opportunities, and experiences have allowed me to reflect on and grow in my personal life. It is crazy to think in less than a month I will be done with my classes in Cambridge and just a few weeks after that I will be returning to the United States. I have been on so many incredible adventures and I am so excited for my last few before the semester ends, but in the midst of these adventures I have also been taking time to reflect on this.

One of the biggest day-to-day changes in my life (other than being half-way across the world, of course!) is having free time. This has been a really lovely change because I have had time to spend time exploring, hanging out with friends, reading for fun (not just for classes!), and journaling and reflecting. Journaling and reflecting allows me to the see the ways I am changing this semester and how I have grown. One of the biggest areas I have grown in is my confidence and independence. I laugh thinking about how often I would be nervous or skip events on campus or in the Twin Cities because I did not want to go somewhere alone. Since being in Europe I have flown to Barcelona and Paris all by myself not counting all the smaller trips I have gone on by myself in England and Cambridge. When I come back to the United States I want to continue growing in this area and keep exploring new places and going to new things even if I have to go by myself. While I always recommend travelling with other people (it’s more fun and safer!) short solo trips are also always a fun little adventure.

Another area I have grown in is my planning and organization. I have always considered myself a pretty organized person but planning trips in new places travelling only by public transport and trying to coordinate buses and planes and trains and places to stay and sightseeing is a whole new level of planning and organization. When first coming to the Twin Cities I was intimidated by the Green Line and the bus system in the Cities and rarely ever used them for this reason. Here in England, I do not have an option and have become very familiar with public transport in England. It is time consuming the requires careful planning, but it is so worth the effort!

These changes have created a better sense of independence and adventure within me and I am excited to keep exploring after I return home. It continues to blow my mind that people live their everyday lives in these beautifully historic places I am visiting. This has given me a greater desire to explore the places I live. I might have to go alone and it might take some planning (although I can drive myself in the U.S.) but adventures do not have to happen only on special occasions. Each day is a new adventure and I want to continue appreciating the places God has put me in and learning and growing wherever the future takes me.

Last modified: March 30, 2019