Lay After London

I’m hooked. I’ve seen enough of the world in just 3 short weeks that I can feel the obsession brewing. As most of you know, I was lucky enough to be able to visit London and Paris over winter break and the time spent overseas has changed my life. I’ve heard stories where certain experiences completely evolve a person and I think that this was one of those moments for me. From the moment I stepped foot off the plane, I was in complete and utter disbelief that I was actually there and when reality kicked in I was determined to have the best time of my life and that I did. I expected to drink, visit places and have so much fun that a smile was permanently glued to my face. What I didn’t expect, however, was to witness growth in myself as a person. The Psychology and Culture course I took while abroad was set up to ensure personal growth. We toured the beautiful streets of London and Paris and met a number of people each with their own story and purpose.

I met a 70 year old Pakistani Muslim women who lives in London and has the most vibrant, confident, and welcoming personality. She spoke to us about her religion and how she held on to her culture while living in England. Her confidence radiated throughout the entire room and everyone idolized her, I was particularly entrapped by the way she talked about her beliefs. It was very unapologetic and I admired her for that, she testified to the idea that your relationship with your religion is your own. She was just one of the people that I was able to meet that had such a motivating story. There were people from Kutztown that are now gaining their masters or doctorates in London. A young man who traveled the world through service trips and the Peace Corps decided to start a life overseas. The paths were endless, but the end result was that they were all living and becoming cultured beyond themselves.

That is what I plan on doing whether that is traveling the world, mastering another language, or just becoming a more empathetic and socially conscious person. It’s now a goal of mine that I intend on accomplishing and all this is a result of saying "yes" to something I was afraid of: taking a chance on a study abroad application. I highly recommend studying abroad to any and everyone—however, I know that’s not appealing to all—so I encourage you to do something beyond you. Saying "yes" to something you are terrified of can show you things about yourself that you would have never have thought possible. I guarantee it.