As time dwindles down to my last couple of weeks in Australia, things are starting to turn quite sad. There are a few things I would like to share with you in regards to making the best out of your last weeks on exchange. These are just a couple of things that I noticed that started to change and some things that I have been trying to focus on.
The downer hideout:
It seemed that once people began to realize that they only had a month left in Australia they started to become isolated in their rooms. Rather than living in the moment and hanging out with friends, a lot of students sadly chatted about not wanting to leave and avoided friends. Making yourself aware of these sad feelings is ok, but focusing on the good experiences and striving to make some more is what I encourage for your last couple weeks on exchange. No one wants to be sad, so make the most out of everything!
The to-do list:
This is definitely a must. Make a giant list of all the things you have been meaning to do or had a blast doing and do them again! Post the list up for friends to see and start to make some dates for getting them all checked off. Time moves quickly so jump on any spare time you may have! I would recommend getting a group shot with all the people you have come close with in an area where a lot of memories were made. Pictures are the best keepsakes.
I know, I know, you have heard it a million times, University is all about time management. But time management on exchange is something you should seriously focus on. There has been a lot of people that seemed to think it would be a good idea to leave everything for the last minute and slack off during the semester. This is NOT a good idea. Unfortunately for these people they are spending their last couple of weeks in Australia in the library stressed out, trying to catch up on readings and assignments while everyone else is checking off fun things from the above to-do list!
Be sure to take some time to think of the things that are around you that you may have been taking for granted while on exchange that you can’t do or see at home. Take pictures of these things or spend a couple minutes longer than you would to observe or enjoy. For example my walk to campus is a panoramic, picturesque view of rainforest and mountains. There are always interesting birds that I pass by and smells of wild flowers that I don’t have back in Ontario. During my last week of classes I made sure to really appreciate these views and scents as these things truly added to my time on exchange.
The address book:
AKA, Facebook. Make sure you get contact details from all the friends you have made during you time on exchange. Keeping in touch with these people will be extremely important for when you arrive back home and want someone to reminisce with about your amazing times on exchange. It is always fun to make plans to see them later on down the track, or to hear from them every now and again.
Yes, leaving the lovely land where you just spent a semester studying will be sad, but there are people who are going to be so excited to see you on your return! If you are one of those people who really, really don’t want to leave and are not looking forward to the trip home, get excited. Make plans with friends and family for when you arrive home, get organised and sort out details for school when you arrive.
Sadly the end was bound to come. For some it may have arrived quicker than expected or arrived just in time for others. Make sure to appreciate just how lucky you are to be one of those awesome people out exploring the world and be thankful for having the opportunity to learn and create memories in a new place with new people.