Valley Overseas: Life is Beautiful

Welcome to Valley Overseas. We’ll hear from students exploring new lands full of strange customs, seemingly impenetrable language barriers, and Euro-trash. They’ll dish out the good, bad and the ugly of living in a home-stay, and the tales of discount airlines. From mixed-up vocab to drool-worthy people in fantastic fashions, let us show you the experiences of a lifetime.

photo-9Life is beautiful in that we’re constantly given the gift of starting over. For some of us, this means the start of a new relationship, or even, the end of a toxic one. It means changing our lives to adjust or adapt to something new, sometimes unknown. And every so often we’re lucky enough for it to mean finding a gift behind a door, finally opened.

Now, whether or not these new beginnings are welcomed into our lives is a different story, unique to each situation. But, as I look back at some of the moments I’ve been forced to start all over again, I notice they’ve all began with similar feelings. There were times I felt angry and mad, sad and alone, even dreadful. I believe that these feelings stemmed from going after things that were risky. But, in the end, they all turned out okay—just as life had predicted for me.

This being said, I’m preparing to leave this evening for a semester abroad in London—an experience so utterly unfamiliar and spontaneous that I often find myself in a state of shock. I’m feeling nervous and excited which I imagine is normal for someone trying to fit their entire closet into one suitcase.

In all seriousness, this will be a huge change for me, geographically, socially, culturally and academically. My independence and my courage will no doubt be tested during this time, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to accept.

Starting over is all about embracing a mindset where positive opportunities are endless.  We may not always know what lies ahead, but we will always be sure of what lies within our hearts.

A professor once told me, “In life, you can’t always determine the situations you find yourself in, but you can always choose how you react to those situations.” I leave today with this quote in my mind and my friends and family in my heart.

I hope that while I’m gone each of you, Valley readers, are also able to embrace a new mindset, whatever it may be. Here is to a new year, new perspectives, and new opportunities to see life for what it is—beautiful.

Photo by Carolyn Hamm