In the first of this series, Kate Gibbs explains why she decided to pack up and leave Galway to start a new degree and life in Malta.
My situation is a special one. I am an Irish girl, living alone in Malta, going to a university I had never heard of until 2 years ago.
My decision to move to this tiny rock in the middle of the Mediterranean makes the question everyone asks me an obvious one. Why Malta?
My answer has become shorter every time I have to explain myself to new people. At first I listed off all my reasons, but after two years, it has come down to “the weather”.
I'm not going to lie, it was a big factor because the rain in Galway never stops and didn't help the depression I was suffering through.
I had become depressed a year and a half before I moved to Malta. The anger and listlessness I felt 24/7 became overpowering and I knew I needed to do something about it.
Nothing about being at home or in the city made me happy, so I made the decision to quit my ongoing Arts degree and start what I really wanted to do in a country I vaguely remembered from a family holiday.
I had never been so scared in my life. What the hell was I doing here?
Two years on and I regret nothing. I'm so happy I gathered the courage to do this crazy thing and I've learned so much about myself.
Looking back, it could have gone so wrong, but I've become a completely different person, no longer relying on anyone else.
I'm much more tolerant, and best of all, the depression hasn't returned. I'm confident I made the best choice for myself and it's a shame other Irish students don't know about the options to study in Europe full-time.
It's doing crazy things like this that show you exactly who you are and what you're capable of.