I have been procrastinating on writing this last post, summing up my experiences while studying abroad in Haifa, Israel. It seemed so final, especially since I’ve been telling everyone to keep their eyes open for this post because I would be sure to put a kind word in for them. It just seemed so awkward, so absolute, so terminating. The last thing I wanted was to feel — or have any of the associations I made feel — was that this was it. The end.
It is not the end.
It is a new beginning.
“You must keep those of like mind around. We become a sort of family. This is what I have found in those that have helped me choose forever, while attending the University of Haifa.”
If I have learned anything from all of my life’s experiences, I have learned that nothing in life is ever final. It continues on. It just all depends on what one chooses to do with their current situation and what they take from the experience.
Good, bad, happy, sad, inspiring, edifying, revealing … there are so many ways in which one can choose to perceive the same life situation. But there is nothing new under the sun. It’s the same story, just with different people playing different parts, causing different life choices and decisions, all leading to a possible different outcome.
I have been here before. I have felt just like I did at this very instant before. It is all up to me to choose what I will gain from it and what I will throw away.
What I have found works for me is to choose forever. Forever I will choose to be an overcomer. Forever I will choose to be strong. Forever I will choose to push forward. Forever I will choose determination, perseverance, dedication, integrity, peace, love, tranquility, tenacity, purposefulness, diligence, steadfastness, tirelessness and the list goes on.
However, I also have found that to be able to achieve some of these traits, one can’t always do it alone. You must keep those of like mind around. We become a sort of family. This is what I have found in those that have helped me choose forever, while attending the University of Haifa. Each person, in their own way, has become a new extension to the family I have gained at San Diego State University and Victor Valley College.
To each and every one of you that has supported my goals and inspiration during this past academic year of studying abroad, I want to say thank you.
To all of you who have lifted me up when I was down and shared your foods, fun and laughter, I say thank you.
To those of you who helped me have a better understanding of both the Hebrew and Arabic languages while having the best immersion experience abroad with those of Middle Eastern nations, I say thank you.
To all of you who helped me choose forever … I say thank you.
So, instead of saying goodbye and making this final, I say see you soon. This post is dedicated to all I have met while in Haifa, Israel. You helped make me a better me to now continue on in this new beginning.
Elizabeth Jones is a transfer student majoring in criminal justice and international security and conflict resolution (ISCOR). She is studying at University of Haifa in Israel for an entire academic year.