Was it too easy?
How do I get ten months of experience down to one post? Impossible, but only till it’s done, right? Let’s go back to where it all started. I got to the time in my life, where I had to make my first decision about my education, my future, and only I could make the decision. And so I chose to be an exchange student as if that’s was the easiest choice. With that I mean, I would get a break from school, and maybe somewhere, I also needed a break from the town and everything in it. Everyone needs a break.
As the unusual student, I was, I didn’t fear to leave the only place and people I knew, but was more or less only excited to leave for my exchange year, by all means, I still love my life, friends, and family I have in Denmark. Ready for an unforgettable year living the American dream, I packed my suitcase and was ready for take-off. By unforgettable, there is a lot that goes under that category. I’m sure this is not the first time you will hear, that an exchange year is some of a roller coaster, and it sure is.
A question that I keep asking myself is: was it too easy? As you hear stories about dramatic problems and situations, that other exchange students have been through, I keep wondering if you need to have been through a host family change, sleepless nights or similar things before you can call yourself a real exchange student? When I ask myself the question, it sounds completely nonsense, but somewhere, I feel you have to had been through just something, to become this independent person everyone talks about you become when you return home from your exchange year. The question ends up being, how much do you need to experience before you can call yourself a “real” exchange student, and do you need to have been through anything at all?
Fortunate is the perfect word to describe my situation when it comes to my host family. I was and am very lucky to have ended up with the family I did. There will always be disagreements between people, and no, not everything has been perfect, but is perfect even a reality? I may not be sure about everything, but I am close to sure, that your host family has a major impact, whatever your exchange year is going to be yay or nay. Because of my good situation with my host family, I haven’t faced major problems or been in a situation I’d rather not be in, which I’m extremely grateful. My year have overall been filled with positivity and small problems here and there, but not bigger than I could fix it on my own, and it would be forgotten by a few days.
Life came with problems for you to fix them, and every single one builds you to the person you’re meant to be, that’s what I believe. When I ask myself again, if you need to have been through a dramatic situation to be a “real” exchange student, I say no. Life is unfair, and it will be forever and ever, you can’t control what problems or issues you will face throughout your life and when. I have been blessed not to be in a situation that would want me to quit the year, and I will forever be thankful for that. No, I never cried my eyes out in the middle of the night, because life was unfair, but I still have grown into a more independent person, who not only knows more about the world but also more about myself and what I value in life, which I hadn’t learned if I chose not to be an exchange student. It’s the best choice I have made and never will I regret it.