An International Student’s Transformation at MDIS, Singapore
As someone who rarely went out of the house, I found the idea of going outside unappealing to me. In the Philippines, my idea of the world was often viewed through a computer screen. I limited myself to minimal interaction with people. Sure, I had my own small group of friends, but I didn’t go beyond that. The reason being, I was an introvert and easily got tired of being in social circles. Overall, I am a shy person.
I have also lived a sheltered life. Even though I spend time outside of my home, volunteering and eating out with friends, I felt that I could experience a lot more. I didn’t know how to wash clothes or make my own bed in the past. All of that changed when I made the choice to study overseas.
For me, this was a new experience. I was taken out of my comfort zone and thrust into a new situation. I am living alone for the first time, which means that I have to do everything on my own in making my own decisions on all tasks big or small. Add to that, my social awkwardness, and I felt like I was unprepared for what came next. For once, I had no safety net, no one to tell me what to do or when to do it.
This also meant that I had no friends to physically spend time with. I feared the first few months, as I had to create relationships from scratch. The shyness in me would have to take a back seat. It did take some warming up, but in the end, I did grow as a person studying in Singapore.
After a year of staying abroad and alone, I feel a lot more confident about myself. I know my strengths and weaknesses in my chosen field of study -media. Surrounding me were people who accepted me and knew how to work well with each other. Whenever I would talk to people, I found myself taking on my own voice. I was able to grow into an extrovert and developed greater confidence.
My time in Singapore gave me more than just self-confidence. I knew what to do when I had too much soap in the laundry, when I desperately needed to wash my dishes or where to get the cheapest grocery items. Even outside the classroom, I learned to be more sociable than ever, and even had my own group of friends to hang around with.
I have made Singapore my second home, one I could always feel comfortable in. As of now, I see the introverted person I left behind in the Philippines as a shadow of myself. Now, I see myself as someone who’s learned more than just camera techniques and production skills. I have evolved into a new person, that feels better than ever.
This article is contributed by Lui, an exchange student in MDIS.