My subject into discussion. But, now that I
My best friend always wanted to go study abroad, telling me about his plans each time he had the chance. But, until recently, these were just thoughts, dreams, and goals for the future. When my friends started looking about what it means to be a student abroad, worries started to take over him. There were so many to consider. Starting with accommodation, school taxes, resources for various books and teaching materials, and money to live, everything had to be covered. So, one day, my friend came to me to tell me about his troubles, as if he was trying to look for anything that may spark in him the hope that everything will be okay. I knew that it was not easy to study abroad, as there are many challenges that cannot be foreseen, trying to make my friend aware of this aspect each time he brought this subject into discussion. But, now that I saw him so troubled, coming to me to get his burden off his chest, I couldn’t get him upset even more. I allowed him to talk, even though I wanted to add, here and there, the statement “I told you so”. Still, I knew that if I was going to do so, all his enthusiasm and hope were going to disappear. I always believed that for every problem, there is at least one solution, so all he had to do was to look for it. So, now that he brought his troubles into the discussion, the first step was made, the step of being aware that there is an issue.I kept my posture calm throughout the entire conversation. I felt that he came to me for support, so I didn’t want to let him down. I allowed him to say everything he had on his mind, patting him on the shoulder and telling him to relax and calm down whenever I felt that he was getting a bit agitated. I tried not to cross my arms in front of me, to look like a disapproving parent. Most certainly he already had unpleasant conversations at home and I was not going to offer him the same kind of experience. Instead, I kept my hands relaxed on the table like I was supporting my body, as I was slightly leaning toward his direction. I wanted him to fell that I was listening, that I was understanding what he was saying, so I did my best to show my interest, through posture and nodding my head in approval, now and then.I am not a person that jumps to conclusions or to giving advice, especially not before hearing the entire story. While it is easy to share an opinion, idea, or thought in smaller problems, it is not comfortable to do the same when the problem has a greater meaning. Choosing a higher form of education that is meant to shape one’s future professional life is a challenging task and I did not feel like the right person to provide advice in this case. My friend had to assess his situation and determine, on his own, if he was capable and had everything needed to go through with his plan. The only thing I could do is listen to him, even though I was not able to guide him. So, I did my best to make the situation more comfortable for him. I offered him a hot cup of tea and listened to everything he had to say. Whenever he was pausing and waiting for my reaction, I told him that I understood what he was going through, admitting that his troubles were real, but also showing my confidence in his strengths and capabilities. I also know that by simply listening, by simply being there and dedicating time to be with him in these troublesome moments, I was already supporting my friend in the best way possible. I smiled at him as well, when I considered it appropriate, telling him that even if he sees just the problem at the moment, he will see the solution as well. He just needs a bit of patience and to keep looking for the answers he was looking to get.It is a rather challenging task to listen to someone that has troubles, but, in my opinion, is the first thing you can do for someone in an unpleasant situation. I was certain that my friend was going to leave my house feeling lighter, calmer, and confident that his dream was not impossible, as all he had to do is to remain faithful to his path by doing some more research on the matter. Many people feel scared when realizing that they are heading toward the unknown. But once they receive a bit of support, once they find someone to listen to them and to give them at least a bit of encouragement, they will find the tranquility and confidence they need to find the right way.At the end of the conversation, my friend thanked me for the patience I had for listening to him, telling me that he feels more relieved and calm. I nodded again, telling me that this is what friend are for, making sure to let him know once again that I am confident in his ability to take the best decision concerning his studies and future. If he was afraid of the language he did not speak, then he should know that languages can be learned. If he was worried about his insufficient budget, then he should see if there are any universities that provide special programs to support foreign students. I just wanted to show him that there are solutions if he is willing to look for them. If he really wants to study in a different country, then he has to look for ways to make it. But, he needs to be aware of the conditions and be honest with himself when it comes to his future goals, as it is the only way that will get him where he wants. So, I don’t think that I was critical with my friend. It was not my intention to do so. I just wanted to provide support and be the trustworthy friend he needed, while trying to keep his feet on the ground and mind clear. I also tried maintaining an atmosphere as calm as possible, without making any exclamations or inappropriate remarks. I tried not to look too concerned either because each time my face was getting too serious, my friend was getting worried again. In order to be supportive, I had to maintain a balanced behavior, a calm and friendly posture, and gentle mimic, allowing him to feel comfortable while he was sharing his thoughts with me.