by Trisha Magsalang (AFS Student to Sweden 2018-2019)
I find it kind of funny now when I look back and remember how anxious I felt about meeting everyone else. Before the orientation, I mostly felt alone. At the time I was the only person I knew in Davao that applied for AFS, and it was quite difficult sharing with other people how I felt as none of them could really fully understand what was going on in my mind even if they try to. It almost felt like I was truly alone for some time. However, when orientation finally came around, I realized that there were people who could relate to how I was feeling. I can still recall conversations I’ve had with the other AFSers about how anxious we all felt before the orientation, and the choruses of ‘me too’ that came after. During the orientation, I felt like I finally released a breath that I was holding for so long, because I finally had an avenue to express myself freely regarding my exchange. Besides being an effective support group, I also feel honored to have met these young individuals (with so much potential) at this point in time, and I can’t wait for all of us to finally have our AFS experience abroad!