Jag fann detta via Matildas blogg och tyckte att det kunde vara värt att reposta! "Knowledge comes from learning, wisdom comes from living."
I´m about to write this one in english because everything I am talking about happened in english. I got asked so many questions about my exchange year and if I could recommend EF and all that kind of stuff but i don´t know if there will ever be enough Blogposts, Instagrams or Videos to explain and represent the experience I had. It´s May 2015. I remember about 2 years ago when I received my letter of being accepted for an EF Highschool Year 2014/15 and i teared up jumping in my dads arms saying "I made it". But this is where it starts and this is the part most people fail at. It TAKES TIME! I recieved my acceptance 2 years ago, which means I applied about two and a half ago, which means I´ve been researching, informing and teaching myself about a Highschool Year for about 4 years back from now and even before I started doing all that I knew I wanted to go live abroad "when I´m older". And guess what I did, I didn´t just sit at home and look at peoples pictures and wished for it to happen, I actually worked for it. People that think I´m spoiled and just get what I want are so wrong and judgemental. Nobody knows I have been selling my old clothes, games and even my furniture I didn´t need anymore to afford this. Yes, my parents have supported me financially but I tried to earn as much as I could myself on top of that. Also were my parents not always as open towards having me leave them for 11 months. My mom didn´t really want me to do it until I had the Parent Permission Slip in my hands. I wanted to do it so I did what I could and I just feel like most people give up so easy and listen to others more than themselves. "You will have a hard time coming back", "you will forget about all of us anyways", "You will be homesick and wish you didn´t go", "It´s a waste of money"... I can´t count the times I have heard those comments from my friends and even some family members. Nobody would support me 100% with my decision and now I have achieved and experienced something none of them ever will be able to experience in their lives. The memories I´ve made will forever be MINE, no matter what people tell me and no matter what happens in the future. I think that is another issue. I have made my own experience and people that are about to or interested in doing the same thing compare themselves with it. I get tons of people telling me "I´m shy do you think I´ll find as many friends as you did?"- Well I don´t know, you have to figure it out yourself and open up! "I will go to an American Highschool, what is it like?" -freaking amazing! But I can´t tell you what your school in whatever state you´re placed in will be like if I´m in Queen Creek, which is by the way a small town, no big city, no big mall and no public transport or a lot of famous places. YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE!!! I don´t know how often I can say it. People think just because I travelled to Hawaii, Florida and all those places it will happen to them too. I have had people ask me how to approach new friends, well I don´t know you, your personality or the person you will meet, IT IS YOUR CHOICE AND EXPERIENCE! Nobody can live your life for you. The only answer I can give to 99% of the questions is to be open and DON´T have a set picture of what will happen. Every place and every person will have different circumstances and yes, my year has been THE BEST but whoever will do an exchange year next will not live my life. I am not trying to discourage anybody but I really think that is the biggest issue in all the questions I get. People assume every Highschool Year is the same and there is only one way to do it right but seriously there is no right or wrong. The only wrong is if you try to be somebody you´re not. I love to help people and answer their questions because I know how I felt before I left for my year but nobody understands the fact that I can´t tell them how they are supposed to act and everything. The only thing i can say again is, IT TAKES TIME! Another example, yes I am friends with like everyone at my school now but do you think it was like that the first day of school? NOOOOO! nobody knew who I was, I had the chance to present myself and introduce myself as who I am and either people like me or they don´t, you can´t change that. If you have an open mindset and no high expectations you will have the best time because from there it will only get better. EF is an awesome agency, that is very professional and will always answer questions and concerns, but if you asked someone in one of their offices how to ask your host parents about something or how to approach someone you saw at school, they would tell you to just be open, speak up and be yourself and I know I have repeated myself about 3748459 times in here with saying all that but I want everyone to understand and to have as close to the blast I have had! EF, your host family and everyone in your new life are just people aswell. They won´t judge you for doing something wrong, they will always help you as much as they can. Well if you made it to this point in this novel you will probably think about some things and maybe handle them more open minded. Matilda and I will publish a video of us answering questions and summarizing our year within the next weeks so stay posted if you´re intrested in that, but for now I can just say the following; wether you´re considering to be a foreign exchange student or you´re just facing a new challange in your life, PLESE don´t compare yourself to anyone. Do it your way and it will turn out to be amazing! And if you are ever struggling and maybe get discouraged, just think about what you will miss out on if you give up.