Dungarvan changes outlook

One of my professors here in Ireland asked me to write a paragraph about what I’ve learned from my traveling abroad experience so far. So here it is: I have discovered how to meet new people and have new experiences.

I’ve been a primarily shy person my entire life. I have a hard time being around people I don’t know. I tend to be quiet and reserved and not make much of an impression on others. When I decided to go on this trip, one where I didn’t know anyone, it was a big deal for me. I was beyond nervous about it. I only knew people through other friends. I hadn’t even taken a class from any of the professors that came with us.

For once in my life, on March 3, I put my nerves aside, got in the car and decided that I was going to be able to make new friendships. I don’t know if I really believed that or not, but it was something that I had to do, so I just did it. And at first, I have to admit that I was nervous I was going to be a loner here and wasn’t going to make any friends at all.

But I was wrong. Very wrong. I must say that I have become friends with every single person on this trip, the professors included. The whole experience has definitely helped me come out of my shell and meet new people that I never would have met if it weren’t for this program. Coming here made me confident enough to make new friends on my own simply because I had to, and not through other people. I honestly think that this experience is something I needed in my life; it is something that has helped me grow immensely as a person.

I used to think that changing as a person was a bad thing – I didn’t want to change because I liked who I was. But coming here has made me realize that change is inevitable. You’re going to change one way or the other, so you might as well embrace it. Maybe I’ve lost some of my former shyness, but that isn’t bad. And it doesn’t mean I’m a different person. Change is life, and we all have to accept that. I’m just glad I decided to come here so that I would be able to.