COLLEGE — IS IT REALLY SCARY?

I always want to study abroad. That’s been one of my dreams since I was a little kid. And there really is no big reason, I just simply love experiencing different culture, meeting new friends around the world and visiting wonderful places. And I really needed to rethink about what I expect about studying abroad when I prepared my college application last year. As a high school senior, I absolutely had no clue what I want to pursue in college or to do later in life. I think it’s quite normal for people at my age not having to know what to pursue. But I looked at all of my friends, they may not have the best grade, but they had interests and got pretty serious intentions with them. My best friend is a perfect example, she’s into fashion and clothing stuff, and she planned to study marketing and designing and wanted to launch her own brand after graduating. That’s the first thing I’m worried about when I enter college: I don’t have a proper plan, I don’t know what I really like and what my potential career could be.

At first, I chose to study what can easily satisfy most of Asian parents’ expectations — business. But I didn’t even know what I expect to study about business, it’s a broad subject, and there’s a range of specialties like finance, marketing, accountancy. I didn’t know if I like it or not, is it gonna be suitable for me in the future. I don’t know. No one knows for sure what they choose will be their career later. That’s when I started to figure out what my actual interests were. I made myself some projects, joined different online courses and conferences. Finally, I decided to study media based on my excitement at video editing and photography stuff. And I still didn’t know what to expect, but at least I found something that I enjoyed to study and explore more about.

Like every international student, I’m also a bit concerned about my life overseas. I know it’s gonna change a lot since I have to do everything on my own, and learn to adapt to the new environment, to the transition to adult life. To be honest, this is actually what I’m looking forward to the most. It’s gonna be challenging for sure, but I think it’s exciting to experience and learn from mistakes all by myself. What I’m more worried about is how to utilize the new environment, create the best opportunity for myself to thrive. I need to find myself workshops or conferences about media or filmmaking, or get advices from professors. I’ve been used to the Vietnamese education system, which we only focus on textbook knowledge, so I expect to develop both academically and personally when I get to college. Soft skills or social skills are very crucial in life, and I think college is the best time for me to develop them.

College at first was a scary but interesting place for me I think. Learning to be more responsible, balancing study and personal life, no one said it’s gonna be easy, but I believe that I can slowly adapt and adjust myself to be better. To me, college is not about cracking open books, it’s also about exploring self, understand who I truly am.

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