Am I doing the right thing?
The fourth month is coming to an end. Christmas is over and I have been stuck with some questions. This month has been similar to the last one. I have gotten used to my surroundings and I even memorised my schedule. Even though the school is home to more than a thousand students I have started to know which students belong to what class. When walking around the school it's always fun to see which students you know and if they greet you.
Am I doing the right thing? Am I at the right place? These are among some questions I have been thinking about lately. When seeing your friends in your home country attending university it's inevitable to ask yourself these questions. Would it be better for me to study at university right now or would a voluntary service in a different country or your home country have been a better choice? These are questions that are led by the thought of ‘what if’. What if I was at home right now? What would I be doing? Would I have more fun? Would I be more productive?
These are very dangerous questions to ask yourself, since one tends to overlook the opportunities and the experiences in your immediate surroundings.
When having thoughts like that I always have a very easy answer for myself: Yes, I am doing the right thing. Four months ago, I didn't have an idea about what I wanted to do. So yes, a gap year was the right choice for me. The voluntary service was a leap of faith. But something you have never tried before is always a chance. It turns out, I enjoy it very much. Especially teaching interested students’ German has been very fun.
What about the country? I have come to love living in Thailand and I think it has been an important experience to live in a country outside of Europe. Even though countries in Europe have different cultures, it is still somewhat similar to what I know from home. I think Thailand is an ideal country for people looking to do volunteer work. Everyone I have worked with has been very open minded, welcoming and interested in me and my culture.
Answering these questions for myself has helped me grow as a person. I now know that I in fact can make decisions about my future and that it will not be a disaster. Furthermore I now know that moving to a different country is difficult, but possible. I also have a different perspective on German society. Living in Thailand has given me the opportunity to experience a different culture and think about it in comparison to the German one. This has given me the chance to reflect even more about my past life, my behaviour in Germany and my life to come.
Now I know why people are always so supportive when I mention that I am doing voluntary service in Thailand.