10 things I’m glad that I learned by age 22 Part 2
This is the second half of my post “10 Things I Learned (Thanks To Studying Abroad) By Age 22“. If you haven’t read that post, I would definitely recommend checking it out before you continue on to this one. I’m not a philosopher or a life coach, so I won’t claim that what I wrote down below is the standard by which you have to live. It’s just a number of thoughts that have crossed my mind as I try and use what I’ve learned from being abroad to enjoy life a little more. So here’s the better half of 10 Things I Learned (Thanks To Studying Abroad) By Age 22.
6. World experience is a sort of cultural capital that can only be gained by going to places and doing things, not just by reading about them.
I made a pretty big deal about why students should travel in my post “As Young Americans We Should Make Every Effort To Study Abroad“, and while I stand by everything I said, I do want to reinforce the fact that I understand not everyone is in a position to travel. However, if you do have the means, don’t let anything hold you back. The experience you gain from being abroad is more valuable, marketable, and eye-opening than you’ll ever know, and while books are great, you can’t get this experience from the words on a page.
7. Success is measured in the direction of your steps, not the number.
As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll be fine. Don’t worry if the route you choose to take isn’t the most practical or beneficial in the long run. As long as you’re not hurting anyone and it isn’t setting you back to a point from which you can’t recover, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be happy with your decision.
8. I don’t know what I want to do in life, and that’s okay.
It’s a big world out there, and since – at age 22 – I probably haven’t even seen 1% of it, it seems pretty reasonable that I don’t have a clue as to what I want to do. Even if I don’t get a full time job until I’m 30, I will realistically be working for another 40 years. I don’t need to be in any rush. If you know what you’re passionate about and what you want to do, get your foot in the door as early as possible and work as hard as you can to make a name for yourself.
9. Not everyone, actually almost nobody, hates Americans.
Don’t flip your lid – I love America, but I had to pick a country for this example and I figured it might as well be my own. I can’t quite understand how people who have never been outside of the U.S. can confidently say that other countries hate America and Americans. The same thing applies to every other country and all the world’s people as well. I often wonder what state the world would be in if mankind just got out of its own way and made an effort to be more accepting and less judgmental (and I know I’m just as guilty as the next guy).
10. We are all human.
Genetically speaking, humans are 99.5% similar. Here’s the more important statistic: 100% of humans are trying to survive and coexist on a single planet we all call home. Emotions – anger, sadness, happiness – are all totally normal, but don’t let them get in the way of relationships with anyone and everyone you already know or will one day meet. Live life however you want, don’t let anyone or any book tell you how it is to be done. Just do it in a way that doesn’t physically, mentally or financially harm anyone else. And if you are looking for a little extra guidance, Remember The Sunscreen.
And with that, the 10 Things I Learned (Thanks To Studying Abroad) By Age 22 is complete.
What are some things you learned about or hope to learn about while studying abroad?
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!