*Originally published on my blog https://discoveringjo.com/ 

Now you probably know this already, as I never stop talking about it, but my time of living in London while I was studying abroad was honestly the best 4 months of my life so far. I had the opportunity to live in another country before I graduate college and met some pretty amazing people. My time abroad has taught me some things that I feel everyone should live by.

1.    Take every opportunity presented to you

Living in London was just a dream before I made it reality, even if it was only for a short period of time. Being from Hawaii, there are not many opportunities whether it’s small ones such as getting from one part of the city to another on a short tube ride or big ones such as attending an Ellie Goulding concert this weekend because your friend told you about it yesterday.

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world and there is an opportunity for everything in any direction you look. The best memories I made were from taking advantage of what was right in front of me. The first and most obvious one being the decision to go through with studying abroad. When I went to my One Direction concert I made a sign with the hopes one of them would read it (which Liam did, video on my twitter) and had the best night ever. I took the chance of spending my fall break in Italy where I made some of the best memories that I will never forget.

Some of your best experiences will be from taking any and all opportunities presented to you. Don’t be afraid to take a chance because you never know, it could just be the best one yet.

2.    Have the confidence to be happy

Studying abroad was not something my family was very confident about me doing. For obvious reasons of course: sending your child to live in a foreign country without you for 4 months is borderline crazy considering they’ve never left the states before, the Taken movies, and the chance that I might not have wanted to come back.

Throughout the entire application process, I didn’t get much support, the only person who wholeheartedly supported my decision being my mom. I couldn’t wrap my head around why they didn’t support something that made me happy. It was hard at first, but what I realized was that sooner or later they got over it. I wasn’t going to let some negative thinking dictate my happiness. I went through my semester abroad making sure that I was happy and not needing to prove it to anyone else via social media or boasting.

Your happiness depends on you, not the others around you. They may not be able to see where you are going but you need to have the confidence to be happy and stop living for others until it burns you out. I was close to burning myself out but my decision to be nothing but happy ignited something in me that changed my life.

3.   Don’t let anyone drag you down

Did you catch my One Direction reference there? But on a serious note don’t let anyone bring you down. Life is too short for shitty people so don’t waste your time pleasing them.

Living in a different country for the first time, I had my share of shitty people. Knowing that I would only be in London for a short period of time made me make sure that I had the best time possible. If I found myself with people that weren’t really into what I liked or brought my mood down, I immediately got myself out of that situation and surrounded myself with people who I enjoyed being around.

That’s something everyone should do on a daily basis. Don’t let anyone get you to second guess or think negatively about what you love to do. If they can’t support your journey then they are no use to you. Nobody can drag you down. Nobody Nobody!

4.    Be spontaneous

It’s near the end of my time in London and I want to make sure I’ve done everything that I wanted. Tickets for the BBC Music Awards just came out so what do I do? Buy 2 floor tickets before I even ask if anyone else wants to go. Pretty spontaneous right? I don’t even know how to get there but I already got the tickets so I need to figure this out.

The BBC Music Awards in Birmingham was definitely a night/day to remember. The 4 of us are huddled under a single comforter laying on a thin sheet with 2 pillows in 40 degree weather with high winds. Waiting in line for 10 hours for an awards show was not something I ever would’ve pictured myself doing, but it is definitely something I will never forget.

What’s life without a little spontaneity? Sometimes you need to spice things up a little. Spice up your life!

5.    Live passionately

Finally, live your life passionately. Passion makes people do extraordinary things. I don’t care if you’re into fashion, video games, sports, or anything else this world has to offer. The passion you have for something is what is going to keep carrying you forward. Forget about the negativity people throw at you or those who don’t see what you have planned for yourself.

My study abroad experience helped me realize how important being passionate is. If I didn’t have the passion or need to study in another country, I would not have the confidence to pursue my dreams with so much determination. You don’t need to travel to find the confidence or passion you may need, but you do need to put yourself out there and see what happens. Most of the time, it will help you see things from a different perspective and that’s all it will take to kickstart your journey.


Published by Jourdan Mills