The Importance of Embracing Uncertainty While Living Abroad
Written by Emily February 11, 2016
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a big fan of a scheduled routine. At home my days are constructed based off my to-do list, so there’s not much uncertainty in my everyday life! As you can probably guess, this is NOT the case while studying abroad. Unfamiliar situations arise daily, and there’s (usually) no known way of how to begin approaching them. Surprisingly, I absolutely love it.
From the little things, like not quite knowing if it’s actually acceptable to whip out your homework in the local café, to not knowing what the sales person told you as the total so guessing and hoping you gave enough, to higher-stakes situations such as hoping you’re getting on the right bus to the airport or trying to rebook delayed trains, you never quite know what you’re getting into.
It’s been only three weeks so far, but I’ve quickly learned to embrace the uncertainty. Impromptu dinner with some local Italian people? Go for it. Debating between the “touristy” bar, or finding a hidden local pub? Choose the pub. Head to carnevale in Venice for the night even though you have an 8am class? Absolutely. (Disclaimer: I chose sleep over this. #regrets)
Admittedly, everything is more fun when there’s a litttttle chance you’re not doing it right. It adds excitement and adventure, something it’s hard to get at home when you’re 100% familiar with your surroundings and the people around you. In a (good) way, study abroad almost forces you to get out of your comfort zone. Before taking on this adventure, I didn’t quite realize just how planned out I was. By sticking to my to-do list, I was missing out on all the little adventures that happen between the planned activities.
I can’t wait to see how many more spontaneous adventures this semester brings, and continue to learn to fully embrace uncertain situations, rather than avoiding them. Until next time!