While waiting, remember to breath!

Sorry, I just realized that I did not introduce myself in the first blog.

My name is Ren and I am a 24 year old Senior (undergrad) at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am a Theatre Arts major, who started off as an English Major, switched to Vocal Performance, and then to Musical Theatre, but when I transferred it became just Theatre. Funny thing is that I now want to teach English overseas.
I didn’t realize how helpful Vocal Performance and Theatre would be to me until this last year. I am able to easily speak in front of crowds which used to be a very challenging thing for me. I am more confident in my speech, I can project my voice more easily, and I can communicate more effectively. This is something that will help me tremendously in my future career(s).

Now that that’s out of the way!

“Dear Ren,

Congratulations! You have been accepted to study abroad through UTA on the Yonsei University exchange program.”

This was the beginning of the email I received from my study abroad office on March 4th. I was thrilled to see that I had been accepted into the program, but I still had to do even more paperwork! I was actually so excited that I took care of all the paperwork as quickly as I could. Now more waiting begins. All of the other paperwork that I did after receiving the email is to be sent off this week to Yonsei University and then I will await an answer. This is where it really gets tough. Not only am I waiting for my answer from Yonsei, I am also waiting on answers from the scholarships that I have applied to. The Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship is the most recent one that I did and I am finishing up my IEFS scholarship application which is due on the 1st of April. I am also waiting on my schools financial aid department to find out how much money I will actually have for my last semesters at school.
I get asked almost everyday if I have received an answer yet and that makes the wait even more difficult. I have so many friends who are cheering me on and want this for me. My parents keep asking for the documents they need for me while I am gone and I have to tell them that I am still waiting on the official answer. I’m glad that I have such a strong support team because without them I think I might have lost my head by now.

If you are in this stage of waiting I hope that you too have a support group. If waiting is too stressful for you then talk to someone about it. I know that there are a lot of high stress people out there and when they are waiting on big news they tend to explode. JUST BREATH. As I said in the first blog, if you don’t get it you can still survive and as long as it isn’t your last year you can apply again! Remember that you can always see a school counselor as well. They are there to help you find ways to remain calm and not let life beat you up mentally and emotionally.

Stay strong everyone and keep looking for more scholarships! Some deadlines are later than others. Just because it may seem like everyone is applying and your chances are low you should still do it. You never know when it is your chance to win.

Keep a smile on your face and reach for the stars…


The Start of Something New…

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
Read more at http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/50-most-inspiring-travel-quotes-of-all-time/#W1jE7lMza2u171ML.99 300px-Yonsei_University_Seal

I have begun my journey that shall lead me to my destiny. It’s name is study abroad and it shall prove to be a tough trip. I do not believe that actually going overseas and studying will be difficult. I think the most challenging thing was the decision on whether or not I should go.

When you have family and friends that you will leave behind it can seem that a new place will be too scary. The interesting thing is that your heart knows what is right and what is wrong for you. You will be able to tell if you should go or not. For me I know that if I continually dream about a place or if new people come into my life from the location and/or they continually speak about it, that I should look into it more. Over the last year I have made more Korean friends, joined a Korean meetup group, and have helped many with their English. When I had the realization that this was something I needed to do, I was immediately overcome with sadness. I know that what I want to do is to teach English in S. Korea and I also know that I want to do study abroad this summer as a pre-preparation. The problem is that I also want to stay close to my family, but that’s when you ask yourself some questions. “Is this going to better my life?” and “Will this make me happy?” Of course if your answer to both is yes, then it is a no brainier. You must go! If you don’t go then your heart will always ache and you will have that dreadful feeling of regret and it has always been my goal to try and avoid that feeling. I spoke with my parents, siblings, and my niece and nephew. They may not want me to go, but they know it’s what I want to do and fully support it. Now I know that not everyone can be as lucky to have family that may agree, but just help them to realize that this isn’t the end of the world and remember that easing them into the idea over time is much easier then just slamming it all in their faces at once. When your parents support you in your schooling I understand that this is even more of a challenge for you. Just remember that if you show them how badly you want it; by apply for scholarships, raising money, or getting a part-time job that you have more of a chance with them. Also do what I did, I became my own lawyer for study abroad. I laid out the reasons I wanted to go and what I would do to try and achieve my goal. My parents asked me questions and I was prepared to answer them. At the end they said they didn’t like that I wanted to be so far away, but they were for it.

Don’t be afraid to try! At least if you try you will have the feeling that you gave it your all and remember to GIVE IT EVERYTHING!
Also remember that if your parents say no, keep trying! Just try to save money for your own trip and don’t give up hope.
I believe if you are meant to be there you will get there somehow.