Growing up, I never really went for holidays. Almost every time I asked my father if I could go to a relatives’ house for a week, he would respond, “Why do you have to be the one to go? Why can’t they come instead?” So I rarely left home. However, years flew by and suddenly it was time for uni and I was saying goodbye to my family at the airport. Location change.
This week marks 8 months since I left my home country, Zambia, to study in Malaysia. Leaving home was so hard considering what I just explained but it was a challenge I couldn’t wait to face. Being in a new country, with new faces (and countable familiar ones) and with a new culture isn’t the easiest of things to do but is without a doubt one of the most amazing. In today’s blog, I’ll give 5 positives I learnt and discovered during my time alone here till now.
I LEARNT TO BE FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT REAL QUICK!
So if you were never on some sort of monthly allowance when you were home, you are suddenly put on one when you leave. You have to come up with a monthly budget in order to regulate your expenditure and ensure that you don’t live like a pauper at any point in the month. It goes without arguing that sometimes this is impossible **hides face**. My first few months were great money wise. When I tell you I flourished in my first semester, I mean just that! But then along the way I started getting broke extremely fast and the Dollar went mad, which isn’t good if you come from a country like mine. Like way before the month ends, I would be completely dry. Now, unless your family is a bank or you are more financially privileged than I am, you understand that you can’t just call home every time you run out of money because well you screwed yourself up and they have budgets of their own too. So I really had to grow up financially. Rule 1: Make sure you have food and ensure the benefit outweighs the cost (S/O to my amazing friend Reuben). Believe me you don’t want to starve in a foreign country. So that’s the first. Learn to manage your money.
I’VE MET NEW PEOPLE AND MADE NEW FRIENDS.
I have met some of the most amazing people so far. I have made an amazing group of friends. People from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. Their characters are actually quite different from mine but this makes the adventure even more pleasant because well, I got to interact with different personalities and figure out how to deal with different people. However, not everyone can be your friend so this is where I applied some “wisdom” in deciding who is best to befriend and who isn’t. It’s really okay not to be friends with everyone. I joined amazing Church and an awesome connect group. So yeah, living alone in a new places requires you to meet and know people if you are to survive. RULE 2: Pack your shy attitude in your suitcase till you know you are comfortable enough to get around alone.
I DISCOVERED A NEW SENSE OF ADVENTURE.
I must admit, I was quite shocked myself. Generally, I’m a homebody. I would very much rather stay home than go out. Most times my friends asked if I wanted to go out with them, I said no because I told myself that’s my free time so I will probably have coffee whilst reading a good novel (Come semester 2 I don’t know what free time is lol). The few times I joined them, I had fun. Seeing places I’d never seen or even heard of and that just makes me curious to want to see more and more places. I would probably do the most when it comes to travelling and sightseeing but I’m still figuring out student budgets and trying to have a good GPA. So yeah, moving out here aroused an interest in trying out new things. I just feel adventurous!! The wanderlust is overwhelming. RULE 3: All work and no play makes John a dull boy.
SMALL ACCOMPLISHMENTS MEAN A LOT.
This should be my favourite lesson so far because the way I hype myself is unbelievable. It’s like I suddenly turned into some sort of Wonder Woman because sometimes I do things I never though I could accomplish. Like Wakanda life is this? Okay no more superhero references. (Marvel is better than DC). Well living alone makes you realize that no one will do things for you if you don’t do them yourself. Examples; I braid my own hair, I manage to submit assignments I thought were hard, I easily move around the city alone etc. It’s amazing. Things I never thought I would be able to do alone, I managed to do. I might just be Captain Marvel. RULE 4: Be your own biggest fan.
I AM ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY MOVE I MAKE.
Last one!!! Simply put, I can’t blame anyone for my misjudgments or for the fact that I got lost somewhere. Everything falls on me. Parents/Guardians aren’t physically there to keep an eye on me or give me immediate guidance on things. So at the end of the day it all falls on me. I are responsible for myself. I am accountable. RULE 5: Do constant self-evaluations; Monitor your progress.
I hope you learn something from my experience and apply it to yourselves… somehow.
In the comments section, tell me what your experience moving away from home, starting university or getting your own place was like. Also, do tell what you’d like to have me write about or what you would like to see here.
Have an amazing week!