It has been about a week and a half since I boarded a plane leaving Australia.
To say that my semester abroad flew by is an understatement. It’s still hard to grasp that I am no longer studying abroad. Although it felt short, I truly believe that I made the most of my time.
Most weekends I tried to do something new, something I would never get to do back home or anywhere else. But with a numbered amount of weekends, I really had to prioritized where I wanted to go and if I was willing to possibly go alone. This forced me to learn about myself and go outside my comfort zone. As someone who loves being surrounded by people, it was especially hard at times to give up a group outing for something that I really wanted to do. Sometimes I compromised, sometimes I didn’t, and sometimes I had regrets. Even so, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. By putting myself in a situation where I was unfamiliar with the people and the environment but my ambition was still present, I taught myself to look inwards. My international experience of 3 months has primarily taught me that to travel well is to know yourself well.
I made a lot of mistakes to come to this conclusion. But making mistakes taught me something transferrable, something I could bring back
besides souvenirs. Traveling never goes exactly the way you plan- and this is especially true when traveling in big groups. I have come to realize that learning how to embrace the unexpected and work with it is something so valuable, a skill not only useful on a personal scale but on a professional scale as well. When traveling, it made the difference in whether you were a desirable person to travel with or not. In a professional setting, it makes the difference in whether you can pivot the unanticipated and turn it into an opportunity.
When something didn’t go as planned, I didn’t want it to ruin the rest of my trip. With this outlook, I realized that just by making this choice, I was forcing myself to take the opportunity and make the most of it. In parallel, the next time I am assigned a project from a PittBusiness professor and it doesn’t go my way, I will use my acquired skill of pivoting and figure out how to embrace the unforeseen.