By Lizzie Darwin |

Studying abroad seems intimidating at first, this I know. I barely knew one person on the trip, and a couple of weeks before leaving it finally became so real to me. I was leaving the country for five weeks (*screams*). Panicking, I remembered how many times I have stepped out of my comfort zone and its positive result.  

I finally realized once we let go of fear, no matter the result, we are capable of anything. It pushes you to be more mature and mentally stronger, and even humbles you.  

Why was my favorite day on study abroad the worst one? Simply this. Taking an extremely difficult hike was no happy time for me, or anyone else. But what made it special was everyones attitude about it. Even though we struggled sliding down the mountain and grabbing trees for support, we managed to laugh about it and help each other. People showed their best qualities during this time and bonded us as a team.  

The hard and uncomfortable times reveal the best in people. After this day, I realized how much I love this group. We were willing to fall for each other and help each other back up. 

Being the only one not flying to Budapest with the group, I felt left out. Especially because of all the troubles the group had getting there. I realize I should be thankful I didn’t lose any luggage or face any traumatic experiences. After talking to my roommate Cassidy Campbell via Snapchat, all she could talk about was how much she loved the team, describing each member as easy going, flexible and comforting during this time. I only wished I could have experienced it all with them.  

Its amazing how much you bond with people when you do something unique and challenging together. The seemingly annoying talk about being abroad makes sense now. Everyone depends on each other for emotional support and by doing something challenging and unique together, people bond in way that others struggle to understand. This is truly the beauty of study abroad.  

While traveling across the world with perfect strangers may seem scary, it provides a clear visual of your best and worst qualities. It pushes you in a direction that makes you pursue what really matters. Anything is worth it if it means it’s one step closer to understanding who you are, even if it means being a little scared.