I assumed getting accepted into HULT was exactly what I needed to reimagine old perspectives. Do not expect great business ideas in my application; there was no telling where the need to be in Boston simply began for me. Neither how the inevitable question of leaving or staying in the Philippines led to a point in which I had to choose the former. Nothing was profound with the things I did–what I only had was a bucketlist of adventures or experiences to try, a string of possibilities that I’ve been waiting for to happen. Before then, there was little room in my mind for making big changes in the future or of helping my country in grandiose ways. At times I would entertain these kinds of hope, but I would say that such dreams did not really make me believe that I could become someone worth listening to, much more someone likely to make an impact on the world.
It would take me a while to reach a conclusion of what studying abroad is all about, more so of being in a business school where every student had a different nationality. Truth be told, sometimes I felt even guilty of being part of the global generation. I would spend less on my own, interact less with people who have more than I do. Privilege apparently did not make me believe that I deserved such opportunity. In the first few months of my stay, I was going out almost all the time, wanting to visit one place in Boston after another, trying out too many things. There was nothing bad in of itself. Such responsibility put so much weight on my shoulders that I started brushing it off. But when one indulges too much, one tends to forget her sense of direction, and with it, the need to build genuine connections with people.
It had not occurred to me that being part of the global generation also meant taking care of one’s own roots. I figured I was trying to imbibe as many different cultures as possible, of painting myself a new face after another, shedding away old-fashioned habits not a lot of people would understand. It was like holding too many strings of connections together only to find myself deeply entangled in a multitude of knots. I happened to neglect the people I care about and only talked to those who initiated conversations with me. The wide-eyed girl from a tropical country was no longer wide-eyed anymore. Ignorance matched with immaturity could be the perfect excuse, but I taught myself to be responsible for my own mistakes.
If only I could express what it’s like flying in to the States all by myself, how sad and overwhelmed and confused I was at the same time. But I reached a conclusion upon that sudden realization that being in Boston alone will not solve my problems. Up until then, I had always assumed that being in the global generation meant exploring as many cultures as possible. I was aware that different backgrounds provided the cultural diversity people had been talking about. Every day I try to remind myself that where I currently live is the closest thing I have to a home, that the girls I live with are the closest to what I could call family. Time in passing has also taught me to accept the possibility that an education abroad cannot change the status of my country anytime soon. But it has also given me the hope that maybe one day it can.
The global generation doesn’t start from knowing different cultures all at the same time; it starts from knowing yourself. I look at the connections I’ve made with people, of strings I’ve tangled and untangled again and again, perhaps giving myself the assurance that I can always fix loose ends. ##
Blog post as a HULT Ambassador for the month of November. I still have more to work on to make it into a polished piece.
Update: Already posted in HULT News. Read it here.