Although my time in London was sadly cut short, I believe that I’ve made the most of my experience for the time I was abroad. When everything was changing so suddenly last week, it took a lot to adapt and navigate my way through. It was very confusing and hard to not get overly stressed about it, especially when I had to pack up my life and fly home in less than two days. However, I’ve realized to appreciate all the amazing experiences I had over the last two and a half months rather than be frustrated and mad about leaving early.
I believe the largest challenge I faced was honing my time management skills. It was very tricky learning how to balance my homework and internship and exploring the city while planing weekend trips. Eventually, I was able to fall into a good rhythm where I prioritized working on homework most weeknights, so my weekends were free for me to explore. This challenge reinforced how valuable great time management skills can be. While studying abroad, there is nothing you want to do besides traveling and seeing all you can (because it is a one-in-a-lifetime experience) but schoolwork is still a priority. It showed me that traveling is one of my passions but, personally, my education is still very important as well! My advice to other study abroad students who may be struggling with time management is to set a schedule of some sort and write it down. I find that I’m more likely to stick to something if it is written down and setting a schedule allows you enough time for homework and have time set aside for anything else.
Additionally, going through a pandemic and having to uproot my life to come back home (like all students abroad) was a very tough experience and one that taught me to adapt, quickly. Some skills that I’ve gained through it have been quick thinking and strong planning skills! When I had to figure every detail of something out in less than 48 hours, I definitely was very productive and planned everything out relatively seamlessly. I’ve always found that I work well under stressful conditions or a very tight time limit and this situation was no different.
I believe this would transfer to a workplace because I can prove that I can get things done well and very quick. There are many examples I could give from my study abroad experiences; like, when my flight home from Barcelona was cancelled and I had to plan everything out, on my own with no help. Another example is when I was at my internship and I was brainstorming some ideas with my coworker on how to make the office a little more efficient. We were just throwing out ideas but I was trying to think each one through with pros and cons to see what could possibly work the best. Overall, I think any study abroad experience has so many transferable skills (ones you may not even think about!), and it is absolutely a positive on any resume. Of course, I’m sad about leaving the UK early, but I look back on my time abroad and relive so many positive experiences and I realize how glad I am to have done it!