If you look at any Exchange students life, now or past, their webs connecting to them to other people are so much more vast and colorful. Their so much stronger than those of others. These relationships, survived distance, heartbreak, emotional distress, extreme happiness and doubt. These relationships have overcame language barriers and cultures, they have created friendships that people who don’t have this experience can never fully comprehend. You can say as an exchange student your linked to all other exchange student. When one falls everyone will reach down and give a hand to pull you out, because they did it for you. You can’t let each other fall, because that means you all fall. These people becomes you friends even if you have never meet them because they have experienced things no one else on this earth can even began to comprehend no matter how much you try to tell them or explain. They are a family and a support system of a bunch of fumbling young adults of the world who took this step off a cliff that was so high you couldn’t see the bottom of the abyss, so that they could open their minds, their hearts, and take the time to see what others won’t. Our elders are people not much older than us trying to guide us from their experiences. And while they are helpful like thumbprints, exchanges can be similarily close but never the same. When one falls from this link it makes one over come with guilt wondering if you could have helped, reached out more, done anything MORE….. and then when one fo the links that fall is a mighty one, someone who you know was so excited for this experience that they made you that much more excited for you, they were the ones who pictures and stories made you push even harder through the tough times so you could get there, smiling and enjoying it all. So when one of the mighty fall, even if not for the weakness that almost pulled you down it makes you wonder if you posses the strength to continue.
Which goes onto to make an Exchanges student life so much more complicated. If you ever truly want to know who you are as a person, become an exchange student, you strength, physical, mental, emotional is pushed and stretched until your sure you’ll rip right apart, and you learn to live like that. For the rest of your life truly, because your always wanting for one place or the other, always missing friends from here and there. You have your life back home, and the emotions from there, the events of your friends and family. You have your life in your host country, your everyday life and experiences and emotions that go along with that. Then you have your friends spread across the world, their downs and their ups, you ride the rollercoaster with them because as exchange that’s what you do…
I don’t think one can truly describe all these emotions and explain what it feels like. I truly believe if there is one thing Rotary could add to their interview process of application requirement is an evaluation by a physcologist. Because it’s one thing to say your going to be an exchange, it’s another to put yourself on that plane and land in a foreign country by yourself, and a totally different one to live everday, thorugh the amazing, the good, and the ugly until it’s time for you to go. It’s one of those things were you either learn to swim or your going to drown.
And I know this makes an exchange sound horrible, but at the same time it’s one of the best things to feel in the world. Because when you get see the pictures of your friend smiling, facebook statuses no longer in English… if pushes you and it feeds into your happiness knowing when you all back together the stories that while flow will be endless, vast, and everlasting.
It’s another feeling you can’t explain….
But I’m going to try, because there are those that don’t get this experience, there are other that get it and are forced home for some reason or another….
And as a good friend just recently told me, I have a great story to right. So that’s what I’m going to do….
And I know most of you are wondering how my birthday went and how life is going, but with certain recent events that have happened talking about my trivial life seems so meanial… Just know that I am fine, I am living my life contently, but that is about to change, I’m about to live, because I have realized now is not the time to float through an exchange… I have one year, one year in Italy. I will not send spend it sitting in bed, writing abut what I ate or how treadful school is… I can tell you all of that when I get home… I am going to live, now! , in this moment, for every moment. Because I am lucky, so lucky to have this experience, and I’m not going to waste it… I’m going to live, for those who can’t have this experience and for those who lost their chance to live it….
When the mighty have fallen… they don’t pull you down with them, they show you your true strength and reveal your wings.
I going to keep my head held like I’m always wearing a crown…. And I’m going to fight every challenge that life through at me to knock me downa dn ruin this.
Because this is my crowning battle….. and I will be victorious not only for me, but for those that this chance was stolen from…. I will live this for you… for me… for everyone..
Because this is my chance to change the world……
And I’ll be damned if I let the torch you passed die out…