Sophie Defaix: Farewell article

SophieHeadshot_editSophie Defaix
Staff Writer

“I am so over this semester.” “Only two more weeks and then we’re finally done,” is something I hear daily around campus. It is hard to believe that the school year is almost over. It feels like yesterday that all the freshmen followed the orientation leaders around campus, and I was one of them. 

Even though I understand that most people are looking forward to leaving, my last day on this campus will be a bad day. I will be sad to leave this beautiful country, but I will have a unique experience. I will always associate these past nine months with happiness.

I want to encourage all of you who read this to study abroad. I know it is not always easy and affordable, but if the opportunity ever presents itself… TAKE it. I guarantee that it will become one of the best moments of your life. It gives you memories for life, it forms you as a person and it helps you to determine what you want in life. 

Going to another country and really experiencing the daily life there is something that not a lot of people can say they have done. Traveling is great, but it is nowhere in comparison to living in another country. You will make friends for life and you will always be able to rely on them, even though you are on the other side of the world. With those friends, you will experience things you have never experienced in your life and you will make memories you will never forget. Just thinking about certain thinks I have done with my friends here brings a smile on my face. It will be sad to leave your foreign friends behind when you go back, but you will never forget about them and vice versa. 

Now I will not say that all experiences and memories will be good. Things are going to be hard when you decide to study abroad, but I can guarantee you two things. The first one is that the good memories will definitely overshadow, if not blow away completely, the bad memories. The second thing is that also those bad or difficult experiences and memories will shape you as a person. No matter how old you are, studying abroad will teach you so much about life and about yourself. Believe me, you will come back as a completely different person than you were before you left. Or you won’t come back at all, that is my plan.

Furthermore, studying abroad will also teach you a lot about what you want to achieve in life. Living in another country will make you look at your own life from a completely different angle and that gives a lot of perspective. Before I came here, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Being here, meeting a lot of new people and doing a lot of different things taught me what I want to do with my life and that is worth a whole lot. 

Studying abroad is an experience that relatively few people get in their life. It may seem scary or inconvenient, but it is worth all the inconvenience in the world. It will give you a unique experience, something you will never experience at any other point in your life. So dear fellow students, go find that opportunity and do everything to make your dreams come true. It may seem difficult, but it will give you friends and memories for life and it will shape you as a person. Never miss an opportunity like that.