RU Abroad with Karishma: I’m Kind of an Adult

Exactly 5 weeks ago today, I rolled two suitcases up a steep hill to my new home-base in Leeds, England.

Writing that one sentence was pretty unbelievable. Though, my entire exchange experience so far has been pretty unbelievable.

As I write this I’m about a week into my month-long Easter break, and only a few hours away from starting my grand European adventure through Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, and Milan. Once the break is over, there will only be 3 weeks of classes left before finals, and as of June 2nd I will have officially wrapped up the studying part of my semester abroad.

During my pre-exchange orientation sessions I heard a lot about how much I would change by the time I returned to Toronto. At the time I thought that was just a standard part of the presentation script, but looking back on these past few weeks, I can honestly say that living abroad has impacted my life in a huge way. While I’ve only been here for a little over a month, it’s been more than enough time for me to learn a lot.

I will admit that being an only child of immigrant parents has resulted in being coddled for much longer than most children, but I feel like I’ve found a new sense of independence while living in Leeds. I’ve become 100% responsible for every aspect of my day. From the moment I start hitting snooze on my alarm to when I finally decide to stop watching Full House for the night, every decision is within my control, which is exciting and daunting all at once. I feel much more confident in my ability to take care of myself. Being in a new city on my own has made me more comfortable with change. Having to learn a whole new way of doing things – even things as basic as grocery shopping and crossing the street, has made me more comfortable adapting to new environments. While I’m still not a total fan of change, being in Leeds has made me a little more comfortable with the idea of being in a new place, and having to change up my fairly consistent routine.

While I’m painting a picture-perfect experience being abroad, I should stress that I’m definitely not coming back to Toronto as a totally responsible, mature, sophisticated adult. I still struggling with not over-buying groceries, getting up for morning classes, and many other things that an independent adult is usually able to do on their own. I still have some growing up to do, but being on exchange has been a surprising way for me to finally step outside my comfort zone and (cautiously) take steps towards becoming an adult.

If I feel this way after just a few weeks of living abroad, I can’t wait to see what happens by the end of this semester!

— Karishma

About author

Karishma Karia

Karishma Karia

Hi! My name is Karishma and I am a third year Business Management student, currently on exchange at the University of Leeds in England. When I’m not watching one of my usual Netflix marathons, you can usually find me reading a book or obsessively listening to a new album I just heard. I’m excited to be sharing my study abroad experience as part of the RU Abroad blog for this semester! I’ll also be posting about my experiences on Twitter and Instagram, so be sure to follow along!