Howdy from Singapore y’all! School here is starting to wrap up, and it’s crazy to think that in less than a week I’ll be flying back home to Texas. It honestly feels like I arrived in Singapore a few weeks ago, rather than a few months. Still, my time here has been extremely fulfilling and memorable.
Reflecting on my experience, I feel like I have learned a lot of important life lessons while I’ve been here. I never wanted to be that overly dramatic study abroad kid that goes on and on about how studying abroad changed their life, but honestly studying abroad has really changed my perspective on a lot of things. I’ve learned some very important things, but perhaps the most shocking (for me at least) is that time in a new place isn’t best filled doing as many things as you can or checking things off a list.
Let me explain. As a kid, every time I went on vacation with my family, I would always try to get my family to visit as many of the top attractions as possible. If we didn’t get to everything on my list, I would immediately consider the vacation a failure. If we, as ridiculous as it sounds, actually took it easy on a vacation and relaxed, I would start getting stressed out. I had the same attitude coming into Singapore. I had a list of sights I wanted to see and places I wanted to visit, and I was going to stop at nothing until I checked them all off my list!! But alas, the semester started flying by, and I completely forgot about the list. A few weeks ago, I found the list again and started freaking out. I had barely done anything I wanted to do in Singapore! But the more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that my favorite memories in Singapore weren’t the super planned tourist attractions, they were the spontaneous things I ended up doing with my friends – like staying up late to watch the sunrise or getting lost on campus only to stumble upon what would end up being our favorite restaurant.
I haven’t gone to the Singapore Zoo, nor have I gone to Universal Studios, but honestly, I had so much more fun and made so many more memories by being spontaneous and enjoying whatever simple things and discoveries I made by being truly in the moment. Planning everything out can be good, but I urge everyone to carve a little time out to relax and see where things take you, because I can guarantee those moments will be the most memorable.
With that, I’m signing off. Thank you for an amazing semester Singapore, and thank you everyone for allowing to share my thoughts with you. See you soon Texas!
This post was contributed by Avi Minocha, a 2019 Global Ambassador majoring in computer science.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Avi’s experience in Singapore>>