Titi, Outbound to Austria

I wrote this speech for our Rebound Weekend when they asked the rebounds to say something about how our year went, memories we made or some things we had learned on our exchange.

I wrote my speech based on a few of the things I have learned in this past year.

TO ANY FUTURE EXCHANGE STUDENTS, this year will be, without a shred of doubt, the most rewarding. You will learn a new language; you will make a family; you will travel with your friends; you will immerse yourself in a new culture; you'll broaden your opportunites for your future. In addition to all of that, it will also be, at times, difficult. You will have to sacrifice yourself for others. Whether it be your time or attention.. The Rotary moto "Service Above Self" is put into action throughout your exchange.

MY SPEECH:

No one says exchange is easy. No one says it's a walk in the park. But EVERYONE says that it's all worth it.

The year that I looked forward to; the year I feared yet couldn't wait for; the year that's now passed...

It taught me that not everything is perfect; it taught me that a year is what you make of it; it taught me that you can NEVER have enough family.

"A river cuts through a rock, not because of its power, but its persistance."

The fact that we're at the end of our exchange shows, not that we've gained enough strength that nothing can take us down, but that we've aquired enough persistance to where nothing can HOLD us down.

My year. My adventure. My leap.

I've learned that YOU'RE NEVER ALONE.

Those who can relate to you strive to help you in a time of need and those who can't make it a point to help you succeed .

For me, one beautiful moment was worth all of the difficult ones:

-The first time my host mom called me her daughter

-The first time my little host sister said she loved me

-The first time I felt like family

These all obliviate the times I felt like I couldn't do it anymore; the times I felt like I had failed; the times that don't even compare to all the memories I made.

To imagine myself without this year seems impossible, and to pay back those who who gave their time for my success seems insurmountable.

I learned that trust can be given just as easily as it's taken away.

I learned that grace is something some people bestow upon you and some don't.

I learned that patience is a virtue and is not easily gained.

I learned that 'listening to hear' can be much more rewarding than 'listening to speak'.

I learned that just because someone doesn't see your worth doesn't make you worthless.

The struggles I have fought through have given me the strength that I'll need for tomorrow.

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them are what make life meaningful.

I've found meaning in my year. My adventure. My leap.

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