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Blonde, curly-haired, white girl in front of blue river...

Shaydra Merwin

SFU Student Undergraduate
Arts + Social Sciences › History
Study Abroad › Exchange

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Story Faculty

We’ve all been there. An idea crosses your mind. Perhaps it was a movie that provoked the idea, or a conversation, or a picture you saw on social media. You think, “I’d love to do that.” Soon enough that thought turns to, “Is it possible that I could actually do that?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell myself that I really am in Germany, walking the cobblestone streets, visiting ancient landmarks, appreciating European architecture, and meeting people from all over the world. I then smile to myself because I took that first step. And then many more. And I made it.

It’s not perfect, which is exactly what I’d hoped for. Dealing with foreign bureaucracy is no joke. It’s a different kind of lonely when you don’t have those people who you’d go to, to simply be. The people who get you. It’s just you and your new acquaintances. But it’s in these moments that I’ve grown so much and learned so much about myself. I’m a stronger person for this experience. An expanded person who has seen so much, and understands the world to the point of realizing there’s impossibly more to know.

I took that step.