My year in America was, as one of my American friend said, “A tough, but wonderful one”. Living the American lifestyle was my American Dream. I did not have any expectations about this year. I knew it will be an amazing year and it was, still is actually.
Living in a host family is an unique experience. I truly felt like I am surrounded by amazing people who love and support me in everything. At no point I called my host parents anything else then mom and dad. I love them just as I love my natural parents. My host siblings became my true friends and I am more than sure that these relationships are going to last forever.
Coming to America and experiencing everything new I realized that the only limits I always had are the limits I put to myself. People in America, supporting and encouraging me, helped me to realize that there are no boundaries for someone who not only has a dream, but also is willing to fight for it. Running cross country, taking swimming class, both activities that I never did before I practiced my will and the strength of my character. But none of these would be possible without the support of my families, friends, and coordinator. Jodi, my coordinator, helped me so much to don’t give up. She was fighting for me to have the best I could this year, even when I wasn’t. She and entire World Link family made it possible for me to be her and enjoy my year.
This year was so full of great memories. I volunteered in a lot of different places, and it not only helped me become more confident, it helped me meet new wonderful people, it helped me see problems and solutions. And most of all it made me able to see the struggle other people go through and be more empathetic. All these experiences changed me a lot and I enjoy these changes.
In the end, this year was so far the greatest thing that happened to me. Helping, loving and encouraging others, I felt loved. I found that the happiness is in small things: when there is a toast waiting for you in the mornings, when your mom packed a nice lunch for you, when your dog wants you to pet him, when you are feeling bad, like he knows it too. Happiness is when there is someone checking if you ate and if you are wearing warm clothes. This year was so full of such happy moments, that all the tough ones are not even in the picture anymore.
An advice for future exchange students is to be open minded, to be patient, to have faith, and never give up. There are going to be hard things, really tough situations to go through, but taking it step by step it does not look that hard. Looking back I feel like if I did not have to live through hard things I would not be able to enjoy all the good ones. No matter how hard it can get, everything I experienced this year, everything that made me grow up and become a better version of myself, worth it all.
As a famous quote states “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” This year was a palette of different emotions and experiences, and only leaving, both bad and good things made it possible for this year to be so indescribable amazing.
So, I don’t want this letter to be taking as a good bye, because I don’t want to say good bye to this year and people I care about. I say “Take care and see you soon!