Journal: Farewell!

My mother is someone who I have always been able to count on to support me with anything that I do in life.  Ever since I was a kid, she has always encouraged me to try new things and step outside of my comfort zone.  Whenever I wanted to join a new club or sport she talked me through any hesitations I had and helped me feel confident and ready to face any new adventure.

Since she has always been very supportive of me, there was no difference when I decided to study abroad.  Even though she was initially concerned about me going to Egypt, she still listened to me when I explained to her all the opportunities I would have in Egypt, such as being able to study Arabic in an Arabic speaking country.  This encouragement has helped me my whole life and has always been a part of how my mom has taught me the importance of striving to be my best.

One of the main things that my mom has instilled in me since I was very young was the importance of education.  I learned to love and appreciate education at a very young age.  This way of approaching education has carried over into my college career as well, which is why I decided to take advantage of the chance to study abroad.

Study abroad has been such a fantastic opportunity and I never thought I would be able to travel and learn about the world this early in my life.  After studying Arabic, learning about Egyptian culture and traditions, meeting the people, trying all the food and learning how to live in and adjust to a new country, I can say this has been the best experience of my life so far.  It is such a wonderful chance that most college students have access too if they look into it and ask questions!  I would highly recommend studying abroad in another country to everyone, and I hope that one day you all get the chance to study abroad while you are in college!  Where would you want to study abroad someday and why?

Study abroad has also influenced what I want to do in the future as a career.  I have always loved psychology, and although I have known for sure that I want to continue studying psychology in graduate school, I was not sure what I specifically wanted to do.  For example, I could do counseling, or do research or choose one of many other options related to psychology.  After studying Arabic and living in Egypt, I am now considering working to bring more mental health services to Middle Eastern communities. I am even considering moving back to Cairo one day in the near future to continue studying Arabic.   Although this is a long way away, I am still very excited about the future!

I started thinking about one day working to bring more mental health services to Middle Eastern communities after I saw first-hand how differently mental health issues are approached in these communities.  Even though I have been searching for a long time to find what I want to do exactly in the future, I have always known that whatever I decided I would want to be making a difference in the world.  It is one of the most exciting things to find something that you would love to spend the rest of your life doing and I am thrilled that I feel like I have begun to figure it out while I have been in Egypt.

Study abroad has changed me in so many ways and taught me a lot about myself and the world.  I now know that I can go on any adventure, even if it seems impossible, and succeed.  A couple of years ago living in another country seemed like an impossible dream, but now it is my reality!  I want you all to know that you really can achieve things even if it seems a bit impossible at first!  It is so empowering and satisfying when you achieve something that originally seemed out of reach or too difficult to do.  My limits of what I thought I could achieve have been expanded.  That is one of the most rewarding things I have taken away from my experiences abroad:  that I can always grow as a person and achieve more than I ever thought possible!

Many of the things that I have chosen to do in life have been with the support of my mother, who has inspired me to make the most of my education and other opportunities in life.  This is what eventually encouraged me to take a giant leap and study abroad in Cairo, Egypt.  Even though it seemed a bit scary and difficult to do, I have now realized that I am able to achieve more than I ever thought possible.

I cannot wait to see what the next big step in life for me is, and I am excited for my future career in psychology.  I feel it is important for everyone to know that you can do a lot of great things in life that you never knew would be possible!  Even though an opportunity may be a little intimidating at first, you can be sure that you will learn a lot and feel so accomplished.

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