Confusing Times

I have never been so confused about my future, and it’s wonderful!

Before I came to Turkey I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had it all figured out. After I got my bachelor’s degree, I would go to graduate school to pursue psychology. Now that I have lived abroad, everything has changed. My dreams of becoming a psychologist are still alive, but I don’t see myself trying to achieve it immediately after I graduate. Other things have really interested me and I feel that they need to be pursued before graduate school.

One of these interests came about when I began teaching English in Istanbul during my second semester. I don’t know if I will ever make teaching my career, but I have really come to enjoy teaching English as a second language. Maybe after I graduate I will go abroad again and teach English to people in a different part of the world.

When I first decided to study abroad people kept telling me that this adventure was going to be life changing. I, of course, just marked it as just another cliché. I knew it was going to be an amazing time and I would see some change in myself, but I never imagined that I would have been affected this much. Now, none of this came out of an “ah-ha” moment. With time I continued to think more critically about my academic and professional future, and my priorities began to shift.

Of course the changes that I have noticed are not all serious and related to my future. Before I came to Turkey I really despised tomatoes. I thought their texture and taste were off-putting and they didn’t need to be consumed by me. However, since I have been in Istanbul, I have come to love them. They go great with almost any meal, and I am disappointed that I forced myself to live without them for as long as I did.

So eventually I am going to go back to the U.S. and see my friends and family. I have learned quite a bit about myself during my time abroad, and this has certainly caused me to change. I am a little nervous to see how my changes will allow me to see things back home. I think I have become a much more passionate person since I have been here. Will I be able to bite my tongue every time one of my friends says something that I don’t agree with?

What I am trying to say is that studying abroad puts you in a wonderfully vulnerable situation. Good times and bad times are going to come your way, but the amazing thing is they will shape the way you think and behave. I am extremely excited to see how these changes in my life will affect the way I think and behave back in the U.S. Can you imagine all the different food dishes I have missed out on in the U.S. because I refused to eat tomatoes? This is a whole new world!

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