You would think going on an international exchange would solidify your attitudes and perspectives about life, careers, and future goals, but nope. It has actually made it a whole lot more confusing for me!

Since landing in Melbourne in July, I had no idea what my future would look like in the following semester (January 2014). I originally had plans to further develop myself and strive to get an international co-op (paid internship) somewhere… anywhere. However, that plan soon changed quickly after realizing I had only 3 more courses to finish my degree.

Many people suggested that I “just finish my degree” and then apply to wherever I wanted without having to worry to return to school if I ever was offered a great opportunity. Others told me to find the best opportunity out there and work hard to attain that ideal job that I always wanted (finding a co-op job) before finishing my degree.

With all of these opinions congested around me, I couldn’t truly decide on my own.

I listened to my friends in Australia, my friends back home, my dad, my boyfriend, my sister, and whoever wanted to pipe in about my January 2014 dilemma. Although I have taken their thoughts into consideration and tried my best to evaluate my options, I still am far from narrowing my decision on what to do.

Tomorrow I have an interview as a marketing intern for a company that will remain unnamed for now. I feel like the outcome of that interview will help narrow my options better.

Some things I wished I had done earlier was:

  • Apply for jobs early – whether it would be jobs in Melbourne, Vancouver, or any place
  • Stop being so lazy and complacent – avoiding responsibility because I was in a rut
  • Take more risks and stop choosing the easy way out
  • Challenge myself. Everyday.

It’s strange to give myself this type of advice because ever since starting university, I was that “crazy, go-getter” girl who thrived at every opportunity and challenge. I was always finding new opportunities and taking initiative to be a better person, but ever since my exchange, that drive slowly vanished.

A part of me wants to blame the lazy and chill culture that Australians are so used to. Another part of me wants to blame #exchangelife. However, the more and more I think about why I am feeling this way, I soon start to realize something greater…

Bam – Ephipany.

Although I had a lot of fun learning about Australia, meeting new people, and being a kid again (having little to no responsibilities), I need to return back to my career-driven lifestyle. I crave to become someone who is more mature, goal-orientated, and passionate.

I shouldn’t be kicking myself too hard for not seeking incredible opportunities in Melbourne or Australia, since that was not my intention from the start. I came here with an open mind set, willing to accept new people and absorb as much as I can. My journey as an exchange student has been a fantastic one and I would not trade any of the wild, carefree moments I have experienced for anything else.

I do not know why I have been forcing this unnecessary stress upon myself during these past few weeks. Maybe I was in a rush to grow up? Who knows…?

Whatever my future plans may be (whether it is staying in Oz or moving back home), I know I will be a better person and continue to strive for excellence in everything I do.