Lessons in Costa Rica

I’m about to leave Costa Rica. I am one week away from leaving an experience that changed my life. I know that this may sound a bit dramatic, but it’s not. Really. Studying abroad changed my life. One thing that I took away from the overall experience was this idea of confidence. During student orientation, one of the funniest speakers who happened to be a professor at the University spoke on confidence. He said that you have to walk with confidence. You have to walk like you know where you are going. If you look down at the map and realize that you are going the wrong way, walk in the right direction, but confidently. As someone who did a lot of my exploration of Costa Rica alone, this is a lesson I followed. I always made sure to walk like I knew where I was going. I walked with my head up, didn’t make unnecessary stops, and made sure to look at my surroundings. Confidence served me when I approached locals, asked questions, and even bargained in the artisan market. A victory was when I was in the artisan market, bought a necklace, realized it was local at another vendor’s booth, and then asked for the difference back from the original vendor. I was confident when I raised my hand in class and made sure to participate, even though I made mistakes along the way. I was confident when I visited food places and museums by myself. I was confident when I visited new places such as a store in the central strip. I had to be confident to make it. The whole study abroad experience taught me a lot of lessons that I don’t think any Spanish course in the States could have. It taught me how to be more confident.

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