As much as I am currently enjoying Sweden, my first few days here were tough to say the least. I would have never gotten through that time without a huge support system encouraging me and helping me stay positive and keep looking forward to this brand new adventure. A support system makes a huge difference during your first semester of college as well as when a student study’s abroad. They are the ones who are there to applaud and cheer for you when you succeed and comfort you and give a pep-talk when the results aren’t exactly what you wanted. I’d like to give a few shout outs to all those who have supported me:
My friends: This zany, crazy group is everything any person could ask for! Some of them I’ve been friends with for fifteen years now; others I’ve only really gotten to know in the past year but I know I can always count on each of them to cheer me up, help me de-stress, and get excited about even the most ridiculous things like orange cowboy hats, duct tape, and homemade Rascal Flatts t-shirts! These are the people that will throw you an amazing going away party and wish you well on your journeys and act like they will never see you again! I have the greatest friends-I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything!
My family: It probably looks like I’m always surrounded by crazy people if you just look at the pictures. My family has taught me so many life lessons. I grew up as the only girl in our family for a long time, so I learned how to be just as tough, wild, and messy as any one of the “boys” in my family. I may not get to see them as often as I like, but they’re always in my hearts and I will always be grateful for the traditions we have (like our annual “Jamboree” in my Grandmother’s backyard)!
My Mom: She is the one in my family that is most likely to cry with me when I’m upset about something and the first to get angry on my behalf! She is fun-loving and one of the most creative people I know! She has taught me how to love life and make the most of what you have!
My Dad: He has always been active in our community and my life. From coaching youth sports to driving to college to help fix whatever isn’t working on my car, he is the most hard-working and unselfish person I know. He has taught me what it means to work hard and why it is so important to do what you love. He is not one to hand out praise but when he tells me he’s proud of me, it can still make me cry.
Russ: Long distance relationships are tough. Some people might think that we should “take a break” while I’m studying abroad; others might have just expected us to. I’m so thankful that he isn’t one of those people! He has never once asked me to compromise my dreams or principles and is constantly encouraging me to better myself and take advantage of opportunities!
Thank you for indulging me my shout outs! Like I said, it can take some time to adjust to life in college and life abroad, but if you have a support system, you will never be alone. Who is your support system? Make sure you take the time to thank them for all they do for you!