Pragya asks: I am studying in high school right now. After completion of my high school, I will have to go abroad for my further studies. Till now, I have been living with my parents and I think I really don’t have many responsibilities to fulfill. Even though I have grown, I am still dependent on my parents, and so I feel my behaviors are too childish and I lack confidence. I am seeking some ideas for changing myself into a mature and independent girl, in order to go through my upcoming strange days in a completely strange country. Can you give some ideas?
Hi Pragya –
How exciting! This is a tremendous chance for you, something very few people get to experience. And my greatest wish for you is that you are able to embrace and absorb all the treasures an overseas education has to offer!
So do I have any ideas for you? I mainly have one: Pragya, give yourself a break! You are so self-critical! There’s nothing wrong with living with your parents when you’re in high school, or not having had many responsibilities, or even still having some childish behaviors. Those are all very normal for people your age (After all, I’m an adult, and I still live with Handsome, I have very few responsibilities, and I’m just loaded with childish behaviors!). If you’ve graduated high school, and done well enough there to merit getting into further studies abroad, you’re doing Great! So please, know that, and give yourself the respect and honor you deserve for being just the age you are.
Having said that, though, there are some really good things you can work on before you travel overseas.
The most important is to learn about the country you’ll be traveling to. What are the people like? How are their customs different from yours? Do you speak their language? How do they like to be treated? What’s their history, and their political system? What are their main religions? Knowing these things before you go will show the people there that you’re educated, mature, and responsible.
Then the second is going to sound like the complete opposite: Be Curious! People love getting the chance to tell about, or show off, their homelands. What about that country don’t you know?! What are the experiences you’d like to have there? (And what are the experiences you don’t want to have?!) Who will be the people who can answer those things for you? And how can you find them when you’re there?
And third, maybe most important of all, is to know yourself. What are the things about you that you want to keep the same when you leave? What are the things that you most want to take with you? What relationship do you want to have with your family and friends while you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away? And what will you most want the people you meet to know about you?
If you can put some effort into all these things, Pragya, you will be as prepared as possible to have a great, incredible, life-changing experience in your new country. But I can promise you, it won’t be half as good unless you are able to build up your self-esteem and tell yourself that you’re okay just as you are! You have a lifetime ahead of you to be responsible, adult, and employed. Your job up till now has been to grow and become educated. And since you have accomplished that so well, you have NOTHING to feel bad about at all.
The adventure is about to begin. Be scared, be excited, and be aware… and prepare yourself to love every second of it!
All my best,