15 Things I Learned This Summer

you can read about the whole experience here

1.   Language is no longer a barrier

 

There’s an app for that, in fact, there’s quite a few, although sometimes it’s best not to rely on technology and you don’t have to either. Studies find that only 7% of communication is made verbally, for me this was certainly true over summer.

2.   New people are friends, not foes

 

It’s crazy to think we’re sometimes afraid of meeting new people. There are 7,000,000,000 people on this planet why not meet as many of them as you can, they’ll all be completely different and can teach you a lesson or two.

3.   Friends are the most valuable things you can earn

Friends are, no joke, lifesavers! Spending time with people and getting to know them is such a pleasure for me, in times of need they’ll be there for you and are uplifting to be around. You can be friends with anyone when you try.

4.   It’s a small world

In a restaurant, someone started talking to us about Dundee and Scotland because of our T-shirts (Thanks Dundee) and then while in Dandong we found a fellow Scot. You never know who you’re going to meet but you’ll never be too far from home!

5.   Experiences are better than objects

I don’t buy souvenirs, I like to think that means I’ll be back one day. The experience I had were so much more than money could buy and worth more than anything I could fit in my suitcase and bring home with me.

6.   New things don’t try themselves

While you don’t need to try everything you see, you should get outside of your comfort zone as much as possible. From Kung-Fu to calligraphy this summer was a series of many firsts.

7.   Failing isn’t the opposite of success

Getting it wrong doesn’t mean you haven’t succeeded, it means you’re one step closer to getting it right. Failing isn’t the opposite of success it’s the most important part OF success. With trying many new things this becomes clearer and clearer.

8.   Time passes quickly. period.

In some moments, sure it can seem like something is taking FOREVER. But when reflecting you realise just how quickly things pass by – the thought that I lived in China for two months is almost unfathomable in my memory.

9.   Confidence comes and goes but attitude is a choice

Whatever you need to do the chances are you’ll get nervous about. And that’s okay. Sometimes we can’t control our nerves and that can show. But no matter what, if you have a positive and determined attitude people will recognise and appreciate that.

10.  You might enjoy the things you least expect

As someone who comes from an arts background, I was surprised that I genuinely enjoyed learning about science and engineering topics and taking part in the group work related to them.

11.  Patience, patience, patience!

We get so annoyed when we have to wait longer than we expected when in fact sometimes a little bit more time is exactly what we need.  When there’s nothing you can do to change the situation the best thing you can do is make the most of it.

12.  A little empathy goes a long way

The world doesn’t revolve around you, there are always other people involved and it’s valuable to take time to have empathy. People will always appreciate you appreciating them.

13.  Be Curious

Curiosity may have killed the cat but it’s also the reason we have so much of what we hold dear today. If you’re being genuine in your actions then being curious shouldn’t cause any harm.

14.  Cultural intelligence is key

Learning about new cultures is great but experiencing them is even better. Cultural intelligence (CQ) is like a muscle, the more you work it the bigger it gets. There are so many broad and beautiful cultures out there to experience.

15.   Simplicity is undervalued

From being a light traveller to appreciating the little thing, the simple life is undervalued in today’s world while it has so many benefits. We could all do with simplifying certain aspects of our lives and gain the world of good from it.

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