Just do it: (ex)change your life.

a cura di Elena Galluccio-
First and foremost, I will try my best not to regurgitate every other exchange student’s words, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. Yet what I have learned throughout my semester is the truth in their words. All those intricacies they say you learn about both yourself and the world, are true. 
Despite my best efforts, I guess my recommendations and comments shadow everyone else’s. 
Just do it. Go on exchange. It’s not my advice, it’s an order. You owe it to yourself. It’s not something that your young and fruitful life should be deprived of. 
Don’t be scared of submitting that damned form, don’t be scared about the huge change. Don’t listen to the pessimists. And when it’s almost time to go, don’t freak out about the thousands of required deliverables. It’s not a simple trip abroad, it’s not a holiday with your old friends, it’s not what you are used to, yet it will change your life. 
That’s the nitty gritty of these endless thoughts. 
Exchange is new, exciting and well out of your comfort zone. Problems will undoubtedly rise- but that’s the best part. You’ll have to lace up your boots, grab your own hand and pull yourself out of it. You will find yourself conquering your fears and being great at it. 
At the beginning, you will feel like you are a survivor, the days will be tough and you’re going to have hard times for sure. But once you’re in, you just don’t want it to end. 
I have since grown into that person holding the door for a someone still ten meters away. I started saying “sorry” after every breath or movement I made. I gave up the espressos, instead ordering those “double -double” at Timmies (a classic Canadian must-have). I’m not sure how, but zero degrees became mild weather.
I created a new life from scratch exactly in the way I wanted it to be, that’s what exchange does to you.
You start travelling, it will become an addiction you can’t get enough of. Just find the right people to do it with.
There’s a beautiful park north from here I want to go there. I want to go to this place but it’s 7 hours by car. I want to go camping. I want to see the northern lights. I want to drive up north and go ice fishing and husky sledding. My simplest advice is – do it.
This is how you feel – Wanderlust. You’ll find yourself staring at a frozen lake at night in complete silence in complete ecstasy. You’ll feel as if you want to experience every inch of this planet and learn as much as you can from it.
A strong desire to wander and explore the world. You can’t stop it, and you will never get rid of it. Part of you, from this moment on. Isn’t it AMAZING? 
Exchange is much more than that, yet the right words escape me.
Think of it as the start of something new, big, extremely meaningful for yourself. One of the biggest steps of your life. 
Go. Find yourself. And the least you can do is discover yourself.
Keep your values. Keep your personality. Exchange will only amplify your personality.
Learn. Listen. Travel. Love. Don’t be afraid. Surprise yourself. Make mindless choices and don’t regret them. Dare. Go wild. Do not make sacrifices you will regret. Seize the day. Don’t let opportunities slip. Challenge the world. If you are lucky, you’ll rule it. Smash it. Kill it. Be your own hero for four months.
It will be sick. And it will worth it.


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