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How have you grown on NSE?

Stories and Updates

Today we're talking about something a bit more personal. We're focusing a little less on the actual NSE program itself and more on what we've learned from this program or how this program has helped us grow as an individual.

This is my boyfriend Davis. What's up?

This week's topic is like I've grown during the exchange. But I thought that since Davis was here, we could talk about how we have both grown during this exchange.

What is the most difficult adjustment you've had to make? Well, starting somewhere new is always kind of weird cause you have a whole new crew and it's kind of weird when one person is doing that and the other one isn't.

Especially since we both, it's been crazy because Davis is a year behind me. He's a sophomore and I'm a junior. And I was a freshman first and then last year Davis was a freshman. So, we've been staggered and having staggered experiences where he didn't understand me my freshman year because like he was still in high school and I understood what you were going through last year. But it's still different as everybody has a different experience and then this year I have to go through the freshman thing all over again. I have to make friends, I have to get used to dorm living again.

Oh that's right. It's just the best.

Yeah. Woo dorms

I had finished freshman year, I had finally learned how college worked and then very soon I was going to be shipping off to a completely different college across the ocean, 3000 miles away by myself. But I decided to just give it a shot and basically since I've been here, that was a big step out of my comfort zone. But it reminded me a lot of who I used to be and how I used to approach life, which was with confidence and with gusto and boldness. And I really missed that. And it's an important part of who I am and kind of being in a new environment kind of knocked it out of me for a while I guess. And anyway, so whenever I got to Hawaii I just kind of was forced to, you know, jump in headfirst and totally relearn everything and make new friends. I knew absolutely no one, I had no base knowledge of anybody. But I have made a lot of really good friends, whether it be my roommates or people I have class with and I have had the opportunity to do crazy things. Aside from meeting new people and doing new things just in the capacity of being in school, I also have tried things like hiking and surfing and things that I never thought I would be able to do.

One thing that I've learned is to not take really small details and just small things in life that kind of pass you by for granted. And that's really broad so I will expand on that. First, I learned not to take your scenery or your placement for granted because back where I'm from in Arizona it's always sunny, like always sunny. It rains once a week and there's just so much sunshine on all over the state no matter whether I'm in Flagstaff or I'm in the Valley of Phoenix. But here it's always raining. So, when the sun does come out, I've learned to appreciate it more, to go outside more, and appreciate that aspect of my current scenery and current situation, as silly as that sounds.

Living here in Hawaii, I think I've become a lot more openminded. I'm more outgoing at talking to people and it's made me want to travel the world more. Being able to come and see cool cultures like this has made me want to go explore the rest of the world and see what else is out there.

NSE has helped me to grow as a person, because I think it has made me more responsible. It made me an adult faster because I moved away from home. I have to pay for my own stuff and do my own laundry, and go buy my own groceries. I don't have my mom to make appointments for me. It has made me more of an adult in that way.

I think the biggest way that I have grown since coming to Hawaii is just really learning how to be a part of a totally different culture from your own. Hilo and Hawaii in general are like nothing I've ever been a part of. A lot of my previous experiences have been similar to one another. I grew up in North Dakota, went to school in Montana, same part of the country. I was maybe a little hesitant about all the newness that coming here brought. I think in the past couple months that has really shifted from hesitation to excitement about all the new things.

I definitely have grown as a person. My work ethic has improved. I am more studious, because I felt like I'm on such an amazing experience and that not everyone gets to have. I felt like I shouldn't let it waste, especially my study. So definitely my work ethic has improved. And another thing, I guess with my time management, this exchange has given me an internship, which I'm absolutely in love with. Maybe I can like talk about that some more in a different video.

Everyone has different experiences and it's different things that may help them grow. And the closest thing I could ever tell you that, you know, how I've grown is that, you know, I've academically, like I've learned so much from these professors, from other, other people that are not, you know, from my own country. And, you know, professionally I've been going to workshops and starting to find myself for certain things. You know, that that helps a lot for my portfolio. And as a person just, you know, learning so much from this culture, from Canada, from, you know, people around us.

So, another thing that NSE has taught me is a little bit of an appreciation from where I have come from, um, and what I'm used to you. So like down here to get to Walmart just to like go and grab something quick instead of taking like two minutes or so like I'm used to, it will take like 20 minutes or more or less just depending on what time it is and what traffic is and which store you're going to. Um, so I've learned to like manage my time and make a list of what I need instead of just randomly going and grabbing one thing or two things, make a list and then just all go at once cause it's just easier that way. Um, and also parking is very hard to find around here. Like even Walmart or like Target. I walk a lot just to get to the store. It's just so congested all the time. And also like when you go to the beach, you have to pay for parking and you still have to walk. So that kind of stinks. But I'm used to it now. Um, and that's definitely something that I've grown an appreciation for. Realizing how lucky I was just to be able to go to the store so quickly or be able to find a parking spot so easily and not have to pay for it.

For me, I know that this exchange has really allowed me to have time and space to grow, um, just in general. Like before last semester, before this exchange, I was really overwhelmed and stressed out just by too many commitments. I was taking 19 credits, taking two jobs, um, had a lot of just responsibilities, trying to run an at home cake business. And I was doing a lot, like my schedule was packed. But because of this exchange, I was able to really immerse myself into a college experience and, um, just take time to figure out what I like, try new things and to just try to be as outgoing as possible. Um, that's another way that I've grown through this exchange is like, honestly, I would consider myself an introvert, but through this exchange, because I traveled to Las Vegas, uh, without anybody, I was like, 'Okay, I need to put my extrovert hat on and really meet some new people." So that's what I've been doing. And honestly, I can't imagine not going on this exchange. Um, before I left, I thought it was like going to be really scary to go somewhere for the first time by myself. But now, like, I think it's just the funnest thing and I'm really glad that I did it. So I would say I've definitely grown a lot as a person through this exchange.

I personally think I have more like uh individual time. I dunno like before NSE program I was living with my parents for a half semester. I mean one semester and I was commuting and stuff. But right now I live in like a dormitory apartment so I have more like free time. So I go to like really big college. And so I don't know, I want to like - personally I got more friendly, I guess. I talked to a lot of people, a lot of different kinds of people and like, I don't know, I have to remember a person's name like person's face and have to say hi to them. So I like communicate with a lot of people, a lot of different people more compared to like when I was in Cleveland State. I'm in the outdoor club in here. And actually I got nominated for the office team. So I go to office meeting and like I'm in charge of like a poster and sticker and those kinds of design, um, like uh, stuff. So that was my first time like involving like a campus club, like office team. So that was really cool. Like I got my position, uh, within like a couple of weeks because like I talked to like people and like they need help. So I like, I don't know, I raised my hand and I'm like, "Yo, if you need help I can do that." And like I am like participating. So that's really cool.

I've noticed that I've grown in three kind of intertwines aspects of my life. That being my ability to adjust to new environment or my adaptability skills, um, my social skills or my communication skills and my confidence has definitely grown through doing this. Surviving out here for these few months has shown me that I'm totally capable of doing anything. I have learned how to adjust entirely to this new environment. And I know that if I should ever do anything again like this in the future, I would be totally capable of moving in, settling in, stress free. Um, another aspect is social skills. I've noticed that some of my closest friends I have out here are people that I just sat down next to in class and said hello. Um, this program has definitely forced me to become a more social person. I had to speak to, uh, strangers more. And I'm so grateful for that. And so those two combined kind of helped my confidence grow. I know that through doing this, I can really do anything and I can't wait to see what I take on in the future now because of this program.


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