My STEP Signature Project consisted of a two-week course at OSU and a two-week abroad experience in London and Liverpool, United Kingdom. As a class of 14 students, we explored British music from the 60’s and how it impacted society in the UK and the United States then and today.
During my British Invasion course, I grew to understand myself and the world at a higher level. In terms of myself, I realized that my love for music impacts so many of my day to day interactions and experiences. Learning more about music during this course, and how it can impact so many people at a large scale, was extremely inspiring. After this course, my love for music has only grown and I want to continuing growing my knowledge of it.
Along with this, my mind was also opened up to new groups of people at OSU. I went on this experience not knowing a single person, but I left with so many new close relationships. In addition, rooming with an international student was an extremely moving experience. Since I have attended OSU, I really have not interacted much with the international students outside of class. Getting to grow close with a girl from China made me realize how although our cultures differ vastly, we are still just 20 year old girls and can connect through this and learn from each other in different ways. Being surrounded by a new group of people from OSU really reminded me to never close myself off because I am still so young and there are so many people to learn from and grow with.
In terms of my assumptions about the world, getting to travel abroad really changed so much for me. Not only did I travel to London and Liverpool with my class, but since there was no return flight, I continued my travels to the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and Germany for another month once my education abroad experience ended. Getting to see how various countries and their cultures differed from one another was extremely interesting and eye-opening. In Spain, I got to practice my Spanish and this really gave me more confidence in the field. In addition, in Italy I got to experience my heritage and see where my ancestors came from, which was a beautiful experience.
Along with this, learning to navigate public transportation and interact with people who did not speak the same language pushed me to be more flexible and innovative. I now return feeling as though I am a more independent version of myself. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to travel on my own and push my boundaries and feel much more mature and competent when I came home. Being comfortable with being alone is extremely important to me and after this experience, I will savor any alone time I can get rather than feeling uncomfortable with it.
All of these changes are extremely important now and will carry into my future, as well. In terms of personal growth, I am much more confident and independent. In terms of academic growth, I have sparked a new interest for music and this shows me how important life long learning is. I also now want to study abroad again, possibly for an entire semester. In terms of growth for my future, getting to interact with new people and see new parts of the world made me realize that I would love a job that would allow me to travel. It also showed me that I will be more than capable in pursuing graduate school in Clinical Psychology in my dream state of Colorado. I now know that I can navigate foreign countries and meet friends there and feel at home, so I will definitely be able to do so within the United States.
In conclusion, the most important lesson I have learned from this experience is that although comfort is great, a person can not grow unless they explore. Whether this exploration be with new places, new people, new ideas, or simply new food or music, it does not matter. All that matters is we keep asking questions and we keep looking for answers. Although comfort may be nice sometimes, we must continue to expand our horizons or else we will get stuck. I know now that life is too short to waste any time being just comfortable.