My Advice From the Ocean

Samantha Anasky is a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Gold Coast, Australia.

 Waves crashing, seagulls talking, wind blowing, sea salt spraying your face. The beach, the ocean, the sun, and the sky. What is it’s purpose on this Earth? How does the ocean relate to studying abroad?

Listening to the ocean, breathing in the salty air, soaking up the sun, I have learned valuable lessons that can be applied to studying abroad.  

Here are 5 things that the ocean has taught me:

1. Be Bold  

While you study abroad, don’t be afraid to make a splash when you face new shores. Crash upon the sand of whatever location you choose and dive into the environment. New experiences like this don’t come often and you might not see the same shore again, so be bold like the waves. 

2. Be Purposeful

Make the most of every moment abroad because every second of every minute counts. The smallest pebble at the bottom of the ocean has a purpose in the ocean floor, a drop of water makes a difference in the ocean, a pinch of salt makes the ocean a little saltier. Let every action and experience be one of intention and meaning. Your experiences may be as small as a grain of sand, but they matter at the end.  

3. Be Beautiful

Soak up the sun, stand out, and let yourself shine. Let your personality shine through and let it reflect onto others, make a name for yourself and let yourself be known. Rise and be seen like the waves of the ocean then let yourself fall again to see the beauty of the world around you.

4. Be Harmonious

The ocean is home to all kinds of life, big and small, living and non-living, swimming and flying – make space for opposites to coexist. You may experience differences between others you encounter, but keep an open mind and go with the flow like the water in the ocean. If things come crashing down, let them crash in harmony like the waves, because they always regain composure. 

5. Be Free

Move like racing waves across the different surfaces of life in your new location. Ripple towards what your heart desires and take chances you may not take otherwise. Be strong and steady in your decisions, pull others in with you like the tide, and dive deep into the unknown. 

Our life is like the ocean- it moves us and awakens us to new shores. The ocean teaches us to be like water ourselves- steady and strong, subtle yet beautiful, constantly moving in any direction but one. Above all the ocean teaches us this lesson – we are all connected, no matter how far we stray from home. Everything we do around the world echoes into the deep blue unknown known as life and even the smallest changes in tide can make a difference. While you are abroad, be like the ocean, be yourself, and be open to new adventures. If you need any help, listen to the ocean as I did and be amazed. 

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