Marking the end of an experience
As I sit here writing my final blog post for Learn International during the last full week of my virtual internship, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude, accomplishment, and fulfillment. This experience has bestowed invaluable skills and lessons that I will undoubtedly take with me as I transition to my next professional (and personal) endeavor. I think for a lot of us, it can be very easy to get wrapped up in planning our next big step or goal in life, and fail to live in the moment and take the adequate time to reflect on what we are currently experiencing and what we have gone through in the past to get to where we are now and where we eventually want to go in the future. From personal experience, I fall victim to constantly stressing and planning my next step to get to a “final destination”, whether that be teaching abroad, attending graduate school, securing a job in International Education, etc. I get so caught up in the future that I often forget to think about all of the things I’ve been able to accomplish in the past, and most importantly, what I’m doing in the present.
This virtual internship has given me a chance to change my thinking and pause for a moment to ponder everything I’m accomplishing in the present; what skills am I gaining? How am I improving professionally and personally? What am I learning? These types of self-reflective questions are integral to ask yourself before moving on to the next work experience or professional opportunity, as contemplating and internalizing your current experience can help prepare you for the next one. As hard as it is to hear and actualize, it can be beneficial to ensure you’re making the most out of each experience, so you can effectively transition to what’s coming next in the future.
Is life a journey or a destination?
For most of my life, I’ve gotten caught up in process of pursuing a particular dream, destination or an ideation of something I want to achieve or become. This notion of being fulfilled only when you achieve a certain milestone, result, or end goal although satisfying, can sometimes make you feel lost, hindering you from embracing and enjoying the journey, on your way to reaching that goal or objective. You can truly miss out on important life lessons, knowledge, new skills, and self-understanding if you don’t take the time to cherish and recognize what is taking place along the process of getting to where you want to go. Embracing life’s stepping stones, the little moments, places, opportunities, and people that helped you along the way to get to your desired goals, and enriched your life in someway, is truly essential.
As cliché as the old adage sounds, there is tremendous reward and benefit in embracing the journey in life and trusting the process while you’re on your way to get to where you want to go. During the past year or so, I’ve found solace in accepting where I am in the present, even if it’s not necessarily where I envisioned myself. It can be difficult to accept not being exactly where you want to be in life or pursuing slightly different things than what you had intended temporarily in order to pivot and cope with unprecedented and changing times. Being adaptable and flexible and realizing the significance of each experience in life are exceptional values to possess. With any life experience, there might be trying or difficult circumstances, however, I choose to believe you can always glean a positive and impactful takeaway from most situations in life.
On to the next stepping stone...
I’m not exactly sure what my next step is to eventually achieve my dreams to pursue International Education. The future is unwritten and I’m embracing the notion of living in the moment and finding the value and impacts of the opportunities I’ve been presented with. I think with any experience in life, there is a chance for growth, developing skills, and gaining knowledge about life and yourself. I’m so thankful for my virtual internship experience with Learn International and am grateful to call this placement one of my stepping stones along my professional and personal journey. From learning new technological skills, managing cultural differences, gaining independence and self-reliance, and adapting to a fully virtual work environment, this experience has been so professionally and personally enriching. This placement has further affirmed my love for International Education, study abroad, travel, and cultural immersion; it’s given me the confirmation and confidence to continue to pursue this passion, wherever it takes me. Thank you for coming along for the ride and being part of my journey– can’t wait to see what adventure comes next!