Jayde Hansen is a student at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Everyone is part of a culture. Within the culture, there’s culture. I’m reminded of it every time I step outside of my apartment.
Life in Greece is so simple and easy going. People are not as personable upon first glance, but once you speak to them, you realize just how welcoming they are, as it is with some of us. There’s not really much of a rush to do anything here. Classes don’t even begin until 10 a.m. and last until as late as 9 p.m. – which is “early” for dinner.
Being here has given me a much fresher perspective on life. You only learn when you fail. “Failure is good, it means you’re trying.” – we’ve all heard this saying before but it has a different meaning when you’re immersed in the opportunity to fail, or as I like to say learn. The reality is you’re going to mispronounce words, you’re going to get lost, you’re going to try food that you don’t like – but that’s ok. It’s all a part of the process, as with anything in life.
Choosing Greece as a destination has literally forced me out of my comfort zone. I am forced to adapt to Greek culture, and I love it. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you perceive as the “right” way to do things, when in reality there is no right way, there are just different ways. Adjusting to the language is a bit easier than I expected. Many people speak English and are glad to teach you Greek as long as you’re curious.
Upon arriving I was actually surprised to realize just how “hip” people are around here. The fashion, electronics, and much of the design is really great, and in some areas of better quality than in the United States.
If I never had to fully trust in something greater than myself, I’m doing it now more than ever. It’s one thing to have trust when you can see a clear way, but it’s another to go in blinded, in almost all aspects of daily living.
I’ll never be twenty-one studying in Greece again. I’m taking in as much as I can and living to the fullest as I know how. So far, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
This is only the beginning. Until the next post,
The world awaits…discover it.