I spent the spring of 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. I did not know any Korean nor did I know a lot about Korean culture. I researched as much as I could and learned to read the Korean Alphabet, but that was all. It was extremely nerve-racking and I had no idea what to expect. Every single day I was outside of my comfort zone and got myself into embarrassing situations. I truly learned to appreciate the rewards of being uncomfortable. I learned that you cannot grow within your comfort zone. There were so many situations that made me uncomfortable. I was embarrassed and nervous. I had only briefly met the other student in the exchange program and I did not know anyone else. I am very introverted so making friends is not always the most comfortable thing. Luckily, I met some of the best people while getting Covid tested of all places. My new friends are some of the kindest and most amazing people I have met. I truly hope to keep contact with them. It is so cool to know that I have friends all across the world now. The best piece of advice I received and want to pass on is to always say yes and to not let your fear of looking stupid or being embarrassed keep you from amazing experiences. One of the best memories came from me stepping outside of my comfort zone. A very popular tourist attraction in Seoul is to wear Hanboks and to tour the Gyeongbokgung Palace. I was always so nervous to look like a tourist. It may sound stupid and irrational but it was one of my biggest concerns. When the weather got warmer, my friends finally convinced me to go. I was extremely anxious and worried for days. I sucked it up and went. It was one of the most amazing experiences. From getting my hair braided to taking pictures by the palace. It was so beautiful. If I had never met people to encourage me and to push past my embarrassment, I would have never gotten to experience this. I am so thankful for them.   

At the Gyeongbokgung Palace with my Amazing Friends.
One of the Best Experiences!