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Old Gold & Black

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  • Issue 12 Out Now! Good Luck with Exams and Safe Travels!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Finding New Comforts While Abroad

While+exploring+my+new+city%2C+I+found+a+section+of+the+Berlin+Wall+that+remains+standing+as+a+reminder+of+Berlin%E2%80%99s+complex+history
While exploring my new city, I found a section of the Berlin Wall that remains standing as a reminder of Berlin’s complex history

Adjusting to new settings may be challenging, but also exciting 

The study abroad experience aids students in expanding their horizons, making new connections and learning about the deeply interwoven world, but it is also a time for self-growth. Discovering and understanding the intricacies of a new culture introduces you to places, practices and ideas that will inevitably remain with you beyond a semester. 

However, studying abroad is not without its own set of challenges. So far during my short time abroad, the biggest challenge has been trying to find a sense of community within the large metropolitan area of Berlin. And while I consider myself lucky to be abroad alongside one of my fellow Terriers, missing my friends and family has been difficult to become comfortable with. It can be intimidating to leave behind your normal routine and adjust to a completely new one in such a short period of time.    

To combat these hurdles, the best advice I can give is to embrace the positives within these newfound challenges and the sometimes-overwhelming size of the city. For example, while a new place may not have your favorite cuisine (I am dreadfully missing southern comfort food), you might learn how to cook your favorite dishes with a new regional twist, or possibly taste foods that you had never before been exposed to. Furthermore, living in a large city means that there are endless opportunities to find people with similar interests. Even though I left my current knitting project in the United States, I discovered that there are endless specialty yarn stores with people who are always helpful and encouraging. After missing my bouldering time at Climb Upstate, I found five other climbing gyms in my area. Despite how cliché it sounds, your experience abroad is truly what you make it. 

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In addition, no matter what, I know that I will always be able to rely on myself and my abilities. No one can see the future, so therefore no one can ever truly prepare for every possible outcome. Remind yourself that it can be okay to step outside of your comfort zone, but to also make sure that you remain aware of your personal limits. And while I know that this is advice that your parents may give you, I write it because it is the truth. So, get out there and find a new community; attend a different workout class, try a new food, or just take more time for yourself. Remember, too, Wofford’s former tagline: “It’s your world.”  

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