Adjusting to a new environment - How to make the most of your move to another country for college
Imagine being a feather floating in the sky. You are very vulnerable to the influence of the wind. Now imagine being a heavy stone dropped from a height. The same force of the wind no longer affects you. These are extreme examples, but if one adopts the characteristics of both the objects, one can find the right balance. An airplane is light enough to fly, yet heavy enough to drop if not propelled with the right thrust. It gets its stability and direction from the wings and rudder.
Living in four different countries (India, Singapore, USA, and Hong Kong) over the course of 19 years of my existence has been quite a journey. Packing up and moving every time is more than a lifestyle change. From culture shock to understanding the different education systems, to forming new relationships, everything requires one to truly believe in themselves. Successfully adjusting and adapting takes more than just time and effort. It requires an active willingness to learn, to be humble.
One of the most important lessons I have learned so far is how shared knowledge is always better. Learning doesn’t have to be related to academics. I like to think of life as a tool box and learning as the process that helps you add more tools to your kit. In my experience, you learn something from every single conversation you have -- as meaningless as it might seem in the moment. You never know what tool might come in handy one day. (Pro tip: Do this with a smile… it will make life brighter).
My upbringing, interactions with diverse people from around the world, and my spiritual base provides the perfect rudder for my journey in life. Being firmly grounded with a spiritual base helped me connect to something larger than myself. It helped me maintain balance and presence of mind, regardless of what was happening in my surroundings. One should embrace the change around them, but should never forget their end goal.
Change brings freshness to the preexisting, however, finding the right balance and absorbing only the necessary changes is important for one to retain their identity. Having a rudder in life to provide direction and a healthy mental disposition helps one adapt to a new environment without losing focus on the end vision. I see the big picture and channel all my energy in pursuit of attaining my goal. Overall, having your eyes set on the end goal by being grounded provides one with the best preparation for the challenges of adapting to a new environment.
My advice to anyone who is at the forefront of such a change, is to find their pillar of strength and to be open to hearing and learning from others. A firm foundation with the zeal to constantly grow can truly help one soar high in the sky.
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