Five Things I Learned in Taiwan

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This is a small reflection of my time abroad in Taiwan. A few days ago, I stared at the language center I had been studying for the past three months. I was relieved that I finished my finals but was in kind of a limbo state of mind. I could not describe how grateful I was for my teachers and classmates; I wanted to tell them that I loved them but I couldn’t because I didn’t have the words or the sentimentality to do so. I just wanted to pause and take it all in. So that is what I tried to do. But it was hard because I had to take a fourteen-hour flight back to New York the next day. I’m grateful for my time in Taiwan, I learned so much, and I want to share with you just a few of the things I learned:

1. I can do the hardest things not because of my own strengths, but because of the God who created me and the power He has over me. Before going to Taiwan, I was scared that I would forget about my faith because of fear of missing out. The time I went abroad was also during the Lenten season, a season of prayer and reflection on Christ’s life and our relationship with Him. I was scared that I would forget about the importance of that time. But, I found a community that helped me to continue to see the goodness of God. Sometimes it is easy to think that we are giving up something good for God, and that seems to suck. But I learned that there is nothing worth pursuing if it is not God and through Him. Learning that gave me a lot of freedom and gladness in the things I got to do in Taiwan because I knew He was with me, especially in challenging times.

2. Not everything good is meant for you. I think studying abroad puts many amazing opportunities and experiences on our path. But not all opportunities are for us. It is okay not to get involved in everything.

3. Some things are for a season, enjoy them while they last. Most importantly, love people as much as you can while you can, don’t be afraid to love others.

4. FOMO: fear of missing out is forgetting that you already have what you need.

5. The best things might come last: I was afraid of two things while abroad, 1) not improving my Chinese language skills, and 2) not making friends. Turns out, I started to notice an improvement in my language skills during my last week! Isn’t that crazy? Just goes to show the importance of compound growth. I also met new friends and deepened my relationships with others during my last three weeks left in Taiwan.

There are much more things that I hope to reflect on and write about, but for now, these are some of the most important things I want to share with you. Thank you for following up on my journey abroad.