12 Life Lessons I Learned From OGSEA Summer 2016

Written by VC Crapsi, 2016 Southeast Asia: Animal Conservation

1. There are some things you simply cannot do alone… No matter how independent or capable you think you are.

2. Uncomfortable is not defeated.

3. Hand shakes, high fives, or what some know as a “thumbs up”, are not internationally recognized gestures of positive reinforcement or a person’s friendly demeanour. However, smiling and eye contact is.

4. JOMO – the joy of missing out.

5. (Before I began the program, my mother told me, “Sometimes you need to act a little crazy to make things sane.” The program reassured this.) Just because some situations life throws your way may seem strange or unproductive, don’t make sense at the time, or make you feel vulnerable, confused, or unnatural… sometimes “crazy” is called for. Jump in with two feet to achieve the best results.

Photos by Maija Sidial Whitney

Photos by Maija Sidial Whitney

6. Don’t forget to look up. A lot of beautiful things live above your usual sight line.

7. “Common sense” and “common courtesy” are not as common as their names suggest.

8. Drink more water.

9. Waking up before 8 am and limiting your access to social media tremendously increases the amount of opportunities you have in a day to be happy.

10. Recognize, encourage, appreciate, and admire the passions of others. Be inspired by it. It doesn’t matter if the overall cause is irrelevant or unimportant to you – that’s not the point.

11. Actually listening is different from and far more effective than just listening.

12. Surprises are inevitable.