Time and time again we talk to students who are apprehensive about their expedition, particularly where friends have dropped out or they feel like they don’t know anyone. Delving into the unknown is always a little bit tricky, it takes a lot of nerve to step outside your comfort zone. It’s also a great test of character and goes a long way towards developing your confidence and independence. We’ve compiled some hints and tips to make sure you get the most out of this experience…
Before your expedition…
Eliminate any unresolved issues
Don’t hold onto any negative emotions. It may sound silly but holding grudges against friends or family may affect the way that you interact with your team on expedition. Take the time to talk through any issues you have before your expedition with a view to resolving them and moving on.
Stock up on sleep and healthy food
Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat. Minus the rave part. Seriously, lack of sleep is one of the most destructive things you can do to your body, add to that a large helping of junk food and you’re asking for trouble. Your body will be adjusting to a new climate, a new sleeping pattern, new food, a new routine…do it a favour and give it fuel to help this transition, in the form of lots of sleep and healthy food.
The unknown is scary because, well, it’s the unknown! You might not have been on expedition before but the good news is, there’s a lot of people in our office who have. If you’ve got any concerns – accommodation, food, toilets, spiders – ask away! There is no such thing as a stupid question and we’re used to talking about all sorts. If you don’t want to talk to us, head to Facebook, we’re friends with students who have been and gone and are happy to talk about their experiences and share their wisdom.
Bring a little bit of home away with you
There’s no shame in bringing something of sentimental value along with you on expedition. Whether it’s a photograph, some ‘open when’ letters, or a Harry Potter book, find something that works for you (and fits in your bag). Sometimes even just knowing that you have something with you from home can be a comfort, even if you don’t ever take it out your bag. Keep it to yourself or use it as a conversation starter; chances are you’re not the only one to have a few home comforts!
‘Don’t regret the things you have done; regret the things you haven’t done’. You don’t want to look back on your expedition and wish you’d said this or wish you’d gotten more involved in that. Make sure you make the most of your expedition and make as many long lasting happy memories as possible!