Out of every crazy little thing that I have done in the past couple of years, I have always let fear gotten the best of me. Fear is so destructive to the daily function of life and happiness that I have decided I need to learn how to conquer it. In the past year, the first crazy thing I did was studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I knowingly knew that I might not be able to afford it; however, glory overcame preoccupations. Not only did I not make it to Buenos Aires without paying a penny (well, maybe a penny), but I was also able to gain more confidence in myself. I began to know myself: what am I capable of and what I am strong at.

Without facing or pointing out any negativity, I began to see the world in a new light. Following that I went skydiving as a promise to a friend. It was to help this friend to face their fear of heights. It was brutal for both of us. Thinking back on it now, I don’t know what came over me. The normal me would never do that in a million years. BUT I have no regrets. I enjoyed the experience very thoroughly. I just wouldn’t do it again, but I do recommend it.

Following Skydiving, I went on to do another study away in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This began my series of adventures throughout the world, or I tried to do it at least. Right after Puerto Rico, I took off into the East: Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan. It was an incredible trip. I got to spend time with a friend who was studying abroad in Japan and I also got the chance to meet her friends. I had a touristy and non-touristy type of experience. In Tokyo, I had the opportunity to attend a Japanese English class. My friends and I were honorees for the class. We were given the opportunity to give advice to the Japanese students on English learning and also tell them about our school life in the United States. That was the most memorable experience for me in Tokyo. After Tokyo, I flew to Taiwan; I stayed with my friend and her family. It was definitely interesting to see the difference in her family dynamic and mine. It sort of made me envious because my family is not as close as hers. Her mom always cooked amazing food and Taiwan, itself, is known for its fabulous night markets. Stinky TOFU always will be on my mind. Not going to lie, stinky TOFU was my favorite memory.

Well, I thought the story would end in Taiwan, but it didn’t. When I returned to school in August, I was given the opportunity to attend a conference in Montreal, Canada. There I met so many inspirational students from all over the world (well, concentration- Europe). This was the awe point for me because I figured out my career aspiration! Now what can I say? I’m in COSTA RICA. It has definitely been a rocky road to get here, but it has definitely been VALE LA PENA! 

Anyways, back to the concept of fear, the only reason I shared the information above is to show that I also doubted myself in everything I do, but once I opened up to opportunities and fought for what I wanted, I did succeed. I succeeded not just making things happen, but rather, I am overcoming my lack of self-confident. I am telling myself that if fear gets in the way of everything I do then I would probably get nothing accomplished and do nothing great.

Fear. Fear. Fear has been on my mind. It is such an abstract concept but also so concrete. This weekend I was fearful of snakes and lack of control. I was fearful of emotions. I was fearful of developing relationships (friendships). I was fearful of everything. When a huge group of us went ziplining, I feared. I don’t know what I was fearful of, but I caved into the fear. I was not able to finish a line by myself. I was scared even though I didn’t know what it was that scared me. I let my fear show the worst of me. I didn’t like that. I wanted to do it myself, but I let my fear shadow me. But the upside of this story is that, at the last race, I did it. I did it for myself. I did it so I wouldn’t regret. I did it because I didn’t know. I did it because I didn’t want to give up. I did it because I wanted to triumph my fear. I did it because I can.

Yes, indeed, when you fear something, don’t fear. Just do it because you can. This is the whole point I was trying to make. If you live life in fear then don’t bother leaving your house. Fear is your enemy, don’t befriend it. It will take all the energy out of you.

Written by Qili Huang, International Student Writer

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