Every dream counts, whether it is traveling the world, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or simply finding love. We all dream of something. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of going to Africa. I envisioned riding an elephant, leaping with lions, and hanging out with indigenous tribes. Sure, I will admit, that was a bit of a narrow minded view of what Africa actually entails. Either way, I knew it was something out of the ordinary and I wanted to make that dream come true. Something about diving into the unknown brought excitement and joy throughout my whole being. Then during my teenage years, I lost sight of that dream because of pressures to be “realistic.” College approached and I thought I might like to study in England. The only issue was that for me, I worried it would not be adventurous enough. Growing up and being born in a European environment has allowed me to acquire a sense of comfort with the European lifestyle. What I was looking for during my study abroad experience is actually quite the opposite, I want an opportunity that will push me out of my comfort zone. It has to be an experience that will enrich my soul and allow me to grow. My trip abroad has to be meaningful and life-changing. So, I said goodbye to my comfort zone and goodbye to the option of studying in a European country. This is the moment I manifested my dream into a reality and said hello to South Africa.
South Africa has so much to offer. It is called “The Rainbow Nation” for a reason. Professionally and academically, South Africa is a perfect place for me to be to expand my knowledge. This country has eleven official languages and is immensely diverse. As a global studies and psychology double major, Cape Town will be a great place to study in because I will be able to experience so many different cultures just in one area. I will have the opportunity to see global issues and psychology being applied in another country. That is exciting because my whole focus for having a double major is to broaden my view of the people who live on this earth. South Africa has a unique history of overcoming obstacles that has shaped it into the country it is now. To be able to experience the effects of development and growth in the country first-hand will be such a rewarding experience. Going to South Africa will be the perfect setting to learn more about community development by visiting townships or volunteering at an orphanage. On the other hand, this trip may also steer me in a completely new direction. I will never know where the road leads unless I take it. So here I am, taking the first step onto this new and exciting path.
From a personal perspective, besides making my dream come true, being able to study in South Africa will provide me with the chance to venture on exhilarating adventures. This is a country that offers many opportunities to explore and take leaps, literally, into unknown waters. With activities such as hiking up Table Mountain, skydiving, bungee jumping off one of the highest heights in the world, and shark cage diving, I will be able face my fears, gain confidence in myself, and become the brave warrior I was meant to be.
When I arrive in South Africa, the first challenge I will face is being open-minded. I will experience different settings and interact with various types of people so no matter how open-minded I think I already am, it will be put to the test while I am abroad. Another challenge will be prioritizing work and play. Even with my excitement and curiosity of being in another country, I will have to make a huge effort to remember the importance of my studies. Overall the challenges I face will be opportunities for growth rather than just issues to deal with.
No matter the challenges I may face, I am ready to dive head first into this opportunity of a lifetime. It has been my dream to go to Africa, no need to hold it off any longer. The time is now! South Africa is where I want to be, where I need to be. Cape Town, South Africa, ready or not, here I come!