Halfway through the semester! The first week of my mid-semester break is coming to an end, and so far I’ve done…nothing. I have, however, got some well-needed rest. After kayaking last weekend and my 21st birthday (which doesn’t mean much in a country where 18 year olds can drink), I’ve taken this past week for a bit of R&R. Life in New Zealand has been in 5th gear since I arrived – weekend trips, rushing to finish assignments BEFORE weekend trips, feeding myself consistently, and maintaining a consistent workout schedule have all kept me well occupied into the beginning of my third month abroad. Admittedly I was sick for the last two weeks, but my return to health has me more determined than ever to make the best of the remaining semester.
My study abroad experience has further revealed to me that I am the type of person who functions well under stress, and who enjoys increasing their workload and responsibilities. Many students who had returned from being abroad talked about “learning about yourself” while in another country. I mostly passed this off as a vague way of saying “yeah it was fun and I went clubbing a lot.” I see that I was completely wrong and that, if asked, I may give the same response. I have a hard time describing exactly what I am learning about myself, but I am discovering how to take my ideas from my head and make them exist in the real world. I believe this is the most valuable skill that can be taught to anyone. My advice to students studying abroad is that making the commitment to living somewhere new is completely worth it. Working hard in order to leave town and explore on the weekend pays off. Fighting to get credits approved back home – 100% worth the effort.
This blog post, in addition to the kayaking pictures I will be posting at the end, is a sort of self reflection and a check-in. No assignments, no trips, just casual reading and sleeping. A week of this is a great mental refresher and a sort of “personality meditation” time to reflect on my experience here so far and to prepare to rally for the second half of the semester. Ironically, this post marks my induction back into the realm of proactivity and productiveness. Next week, I’ll be hitting the slopes of Rurapehu for 5 days straight with the Snow Sports Club! Enjoy these photos from my two days on the Tarawera river and a few random photos from my travels in NZ...