MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 34

MADEFEATURE MADELIFE MADEXXX the love, respect and concern that you deserve. 3. Silence and alone time is sometimes needed. It doesn't mean there is a lack of friends, loved ones or excitement. It instead opens up time to gather thoughts from the day and have a clear mind of what is happening in life. My first study abroad program allowed me to travel to 5 countries and 15 cities in Europe. It is absolutely impossible to digest all of the traveling, sights, monuments, people, food, music etc without taking time to just sit in silence, in the now. No cell phone, computer, nothing. Those times have been great for me to just reflect, pray and be in the present. My core development happened when I intentionally spent time with the Creator; not thinking about what I need to do next or what I have done, but being thankful for the present. 4. Speak your mind. Every time this has happened I learn more about myself, what I stand for and my life's experiences. There is a tremendous amount of growth that happens when speaking ones mind. My parents spoke those words to me countless times grow- ing up, and I have discovered it's importance now, more than ever. Traveling abroad is a great way to validate that your voice matters even though you are only 1 out of over 7 billion people on earth. 5. Do not be afraid to talk about uncom- fortable things. I have found that Americans are more inclined to always wanting to be politically correct when talking about subjects that people disagree on. Most of my in depth conversations have been with people outside of America who are not afraid of getting into a 3 hour conversation about communism, or who will invite you to coffee where the center topic is abortion. Even a conversation on why the sky is blue has happened while studying abroad between peers. The great thing is that everyone has their own mind. Instead of resorting to surface level talk about Beyonce's IG following, I have found much more value in speaking about how she may or may not be a feminist. 6. Work on the relationships in life that matter. The most important relationships in life are not always the romantic ones. God has truly blessed me with some awesome people in my life. In a physical sense I have seen that from the people who have made an effort to see how I was doing abroad by proactively ensuing a Skype call, sending me care packages in the mail, and all other types of love. No one was created to be in a silo, so embrace, uplift and love those who mean the world to you. These relationships are so full of love, and they truly matter. 7. Put God in everything you do and the rest follows. There's a scripture that says to do everything as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23). Well, it was exactly on the mark! Traveling abroad allows you to trust God the more because there are so many oppor- tunities to be stretched beyond your comfort zone. Everyday being able to get closer to God is a blessing and I have started to realize that the little things in life that used to make me tremble no longer do. Whether it's a test, a trip, or trying something for the first time, He will always have your back. My hope is that this list encourages you to study abroad and become the person you have always wanted to become. Who makes lists of revela- tions on their own terms, and in their own words. So, what are you waiting for? Take the leap. | 34