Moving to Nebraska
By: Ali Al Amri
Studying in the United States has been a wonderful experience. I went to Kent State University for three years, but I transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a junior. In the first three years of college, I learned how to be independent, manage my finances, do my laundry and cook, but there wasn’t much going on in Kent. I was very focused in school, and my top priority was to learn as much as I could and get good grades. Even though I only had two semesters left to graduate at Kent, I felt like I really needed a change, and I had to move even though I did not have a specific reason. I never realized how bad being in my comfort zone for too long can be until I transferred to UNL.
Right after I moved to Nebraska, I had a lot of regret. I thought that I made a bad decision. I started feeling homesick and it took me a long time to settle in. I failed two classes in my first semester and that made me feel way worse. That’s when I decided to go to counseling. I did not know anything about mental health, but I knew that talking to someone can always help, so I gave it a try. At first, I started feeling worse when I realized that I have been anxious all my life and probably will always be. But soon, I learned that it is okay to feel anxious and that feeling anxious can have its benefits. For example, constantly thinking of what can go wrong prepared me for a lot of situations. Moreover, endlessly worrying about not being the best person I can be has made me try my best every day. I started appreciating all the help I was getting, and I quickly started realizing how important it was for me to move to another city.
Going to counseling and learning about mental health changed my life forever. I learned about mindfulness and how to observe my thoughts. I also started dealing with the fact that I ignore social gatherings because of my social anxiety. That is definitely something that I continue to struggle with, but I have been doing better this semester. I was worried that Jacht might not be right for me because of how socially anxious I am. However, I have to say that, thanks to Jacht, this is one of my best semesters ever. I am grateful to do what I love and be around a lot of awesome people, whom I am learning so much from. Working with real clients is pushing me to make the best work I can make, and I am also becoming a better self-critic. Plus, I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons from the guest speakers we’ve had so far. Most of them made sure they tell us everything they know about when it comes to preparing for the future and life after graduating. I will always be grateful for this experience and grateful for the amazing people I got to share it with. I hope my experience can help others find the courage they need to step outside their comfort zones. I would not be the person I am today if I had never left Kent and started a new life at Nebraska.