The romanticized idea of living abroad turned out to be untrue.

The romanticized idea of living abroad turned out to be untrue.

I am 22 years old and I moved to Canada when I was 17. At the age of 15-16, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to study for my undergraduate degree. I was drawn to psychology & felt a deep connection with the subject. I applied to colleges in India, the UK, Hong Kong, the USA, & Canada. In the end, I chose to go to the University of British Columbia (UBC) because it had a reputation for having a strong psychology program.

However, the romanticized idea of living abroad turned out to be untrue. I experienced burnout, homesickness, and felt incredibly alone. I was a mess, but the one thing that kept me going was my academic pursuits.COVID-19 played a big role in my life. I had to move back to India for 11 months, & during that time, I had a chance to reconsider my goals & aspirations in life.

When I returned to Canada, I was more determined than ever to achieve my goals. I became highly involved in student engagement roles while continuing my studies. As I navigated the challenges of finding a job, I finally landed a position in academic advising today.

Through my journey, I have learned some important lessons. In our 20s, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the “right” choices. But at the end of the day, it’s not about what others think or what society expects. It’s about following your own path and making choices that make sense to you. It’s about working with your heart and soul towards your chosen path.

I am now certain about my decision to return to India and be with my family. While abroad, I sought to gain experience, step out of my comfort zone, and grow personally and professionally. I am grateful for the opportunities and growth I experienced during that time. However, I now feel the need to build my life closer to my loved ones. Life is unpredictable, with unexpected ups and downs. In these moments, we discover our determination and resilience. Setbacks can be opportunities for growth and self-discovery. When faced with challenges, we can reassess our goals, recommit to our passions, and emerge stronger than ever.

  • After high school, I found a deep desire to pursue psychology and started looking for schools in the USA and Canada for my undergrad. 
  • I got admission in University of British Columbia (UBC) because it had a reputation for having a strong psychology program.
  • Like everyone, I romanticized the idea of living abroad turned out to be untrue. I experienced burnout, homesickness, and felt incredibly alone. I was a mess.
  • COVID-19 played a pivotal role, I had to move back to India wherein reconsidered my goals and aspirations in life.
  • I came back more determined for my goals and got extensively involved in other curriculum activities in my school. 
  • In your 20s, it’s common to feel pressure to make the “right” choices according to societal expectations. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your own desires and aspirations.
  • Make choices that resonate with you and work towards your chosen path with passion and dedication.
  • In pursuing my chosen path, I embraced personal and professional growth abroad but now I am choosing to move back to India and build my life closer to my family.  

"The romanticized idea of living abroad turned out to be untrue. I experienced burnout, homesickness, and felt incredibly alone. "

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