Advice: Never Be Afraid to Do Things Outside Your Area of Comfort

Nov 29, 2018 10:30:00 AM / by Mariah Thomas

In her last post, Mariah reflects on her decision to study abroad and how her experience eventually turned out. She also shares some advice and explains why you should not be scared to think and do things outside the box.

When I first came to London, I was unsure of myself. I didn’t have confidence that I could go through the Summer alone without the guidance of my family around me. I wasn’t someone who was willing to take chances or push myself forward to try something new.

Smiling Because of Coconut JuiceStudying abroad is an experience I will never forget and will look back on with a smile.

My time spent abroad was full of different experiences where I was forced to put myself out there and interact with different people and cultures. Since my return, I realized a stronger love for writing. My internship with Nursing Times, strengthened not only my writing skills but also confidence in my writing ability. My supervisor pushed me to do the best of my ability, helping me recognize my own talents as well.

I’ve become more positive in my way of thinking and my future. I never believed that I could travel or handle the pressure of doing things alone. I feel that traveling is something I love. “You have to learn to do things alone”—something my mom has always told me. I finally understand what she means.

London Eye

To other students, hoping to study abroad, you should never be scared to do something “out of your box.” The things that make you nervous can sometimes benefit you in the end. It makes your stronger and you might even learn to love it along the way!

Traveling is also a way for you to stand out from those around you. Many of the CAPA professors have said how studying and interning abroad puts you at a different position than other applicants. It’s a great thing to put on your resume.


In terms of reverse culture shock, I haven’t experienced it. I think London to be similar to NYC and my usual city life. I haven’t experienced anything other than having to get used to the American accents and the fact that we drive on the left side instead of the right. I would honestly say that the driving side was the biggest shock to me. After returning home, I would order an Uber and would run to the left side to slide in the front with them, only to realize that the driver is driving on the left instead of London’s right. There were many embarrassing moments with that scenario.

Seeing London from Afar

I’ve also been able to leave with some great connections from my internship, as well as some friends from the CAPA program along with several London residents as well. It’s pretty cool to go back home and say that I have friends in London that I can visit during the holidays.

My overall advice to those unsure if they should study abroad is: TO GO FOR IT.

Never be afraid to do something that can only benefit you in the long run. The pros outweigh any negatives. If you keep starting small, you’ll never give yourself the opportunity to think big. This is an experience I will never forget and will look back on with a smile.

Thanks, Mariah!

Mariah Thomas

Mariah is an official CAPA blogger, sharing her story on CAPA World. A Journalism major at SUNY Purchase College, she is studying abroad in London.

See more of Mariah's journey in London.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Practical Study Abroad Advice, Study Abroad, Personal Learning, Reflection