Trying new things is important in life

Akane Minamino, right, and fellow international student Amina Mishkat, left.

Akane Minamino is an international student at VTSU Castleton from Japan who details what it’s like to study abroad so far from home.

Trying new things is important.

This is one of my beliefs. That belief is one of the reasons why I decided to study abroad.

Trying new things leads you to doing something you have never tried before, seeing what you have never seen before, and learning what you have never known. “Learning what you have never known” means a situation that; for example, you think that “I did not know that such a delicious dish is available on the earth!” when you try eating what you have never eaten.

In addition, thinking that “I did not know that this issue can be dealt with from different perspectives!” when you hear an opinion of someone who is from a different background.

Personally, from my experience, one of my friends recommended that I should watch a Korean TV drama when I was in high school. I did not have an interest in the TV show at all when she gave me that suggestion and had never tried it.

However, once I began watching the TV program, I started enjoying it because it was so interesting to me. Now, watching Korean TV drama is one of the most enjoyable things for me and is playing an important role in my life.

Also, her suggestion that I should watch the drama made me interested in learning Korean. This friend definitely broadened my horizons and guided me to a new world.

My statement, “Learning what you have never known” may make your life more fulfilled. That is why I always like trying something new to learn what I have never known. Studying abroad is one of the new things I am trying.

To be specific, I came here because I have wanted to see new things and meet people who have different backgrounds and ways of thinking from mine. Interacting with them will broaden my horizons and gives me a variety of perspectives and knowledge, which I also think is fun and interesting.

One of the international students I met here, Amina Mishkat, taught me an important thing. When I saw myself as a person inferior to others and I lost confidence, she said “The more you feel yourself inferior, there’s more room for improvement. It’s a good sign as you want to improve,” she said.

She also told me “Nobody is perfect. There are some points where I am better than you but there are ones where you are better than me. It’s all because we lived in different environments and faced different situations. No one is more perfect than another, we all are equal.”

Her way of thinking was totally new to me at that time and helped me to overcome the difficult time. I cannot thank her enough.

The other reason why I decided to study abroad is that I have wanted to become an independent person through facing difficulties in an unfamiliar living environment and dealing with them.

Akane study abroad piece: 

I understood that living in a foreign country would be challenging. I should have been prepared to face some difficult situations. However, it has been so much harder than I expected, and sometimes I was depressed.

Trying something new does not always make me feel excited.

I have gone through many hardships since I came here. I still feel uneasy and get nervous almost every day; especially, before going to a class. I sometimes still think “What if I cannot catch what the other person says in the class?” and “What if I cannot make myself understood in English well?”

Also, in the past, I thought “I wnt to feel more comfortable without feeling uneasy every day” and “I wish I could flee to Japan.”

Sometimes, I lose confidence and self-esteem and I am frustrated with myself. One day, I totally forgot that I came here to become independent while experiencing tough situations. I was just mad at myself for feeling dark emotions and I accused myself of being anxious.

However, I remembered that I felt uneasy because I had jumped into new environment and tried new things, which was natural. In other words, I realized that the anxiety that I was feeling was proof that I am trying new things. If I was not feeling anxiety, that would mean that I was trying nothing. Also, I was frustrated because I always had worries, but I did not have to be angry at myself. Rather, I came to think that I may be proud of myself since I am following my belief that trying new things is important.

The experience of accomplishing something while having worries will provide confidence with you, and you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Every tiny thing that I easily did back in my country, including talking to someone and going somewhere by train, became a little challenging after I came here. For example, in Japan, I was on a train alone without any anxieties. However, when I visited New York City for the first time and took a train, I thought “What if I encounter a weird person on the train?”

“What if I catch a wrong train?” and “Can I really reach the destination by myself?”

Although I had those worries, arriving at the destination by myself gave me confidence. I felt a sense of accomplishment.

By trying something new, I am choosing a path that requires me to have more courage and have worries, but these help me grow as a person. That is why I hope that a lot of people try new things. If you are a person who is trying something new and facing some difficulties, you do not have to be disappointed at yourself.

Rather you should be proud of yourself.

Moreover, after going out of your comfort zone and overcoming the worries, you will gain confidence and be able to mature and to expand your world. 

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