Croissants and Camaraderie

A scream and a thud.  On a chilly Sunday morning in Memphis, Tennessee, a groggy Brittany opened her TCU email.  Expecting only a “TCU Announce” or parking information, I saw an email from Dr. Pitcock with the subject line “Honors Explorations”.  I immediately opened it, and honestly was expecting a rejection because I knew how many awesome people had applied.  The next thing I knew, I was reading an acceptance letter that declared “Welcome to the Familia”!  I immediately screamed in shock and my laptop thudded to the ground as I sat there in disbelief.  After I processed for a while that I would be travelling across Europe with my newest best friends, I ran downstairs to my parents’ room and strobed their lights shouting that I was part of CR10.  They were just as unbelieving as I was since I basically assured them I wouldn’t get in when I was asking/pleading to apply for CR.

I learned about Cultural Routes when I attended the information session for summer study abroad programs in October. As I heard Dr. P enthusiastically describing CR and the community, experiences, and breakthrough that go alongside it, I knew I needed to apply.  I basically applied on a whim and laid it all out in my application—for example, while the rest of my application responses were long and (hopefully) insightful, my answer for the question “What is something you’ve changed your mind about in the last three years?” was simply, “I have recently come to the conclusion that waffles are far tastier than pancakes.”  I knew I had to show my true self in the application, and I am nothing without my love for breakfast foods.  I anticipate many breakfast foods to surpass my expectations when we are in Europe—croissants are already calling my name!

Besides the glorious, delectable food, I am excited for so many things on CR10.  The first thing that comes to mind is the fellowship and community—it’s not called a Familia for nothing!  From just the dinners and random meet-ups we’ve all shared together, I am surprised at how well our different personalities and identities complement each other.  I already know that each person has a purpose, and Dr. P chose us because he knew we would be a perfect team before some of us had ever met.  I cannot wait to go all-in with and for these people!  I am also eager to truly experience each destination.  While some people will hit the tourist spots and move on, I know we will be diving into the culture of each city, testing the waters and trying new things at each.  I hope to gain a newfound understanding and appreciation for cultures different than mine and be able to look past a city’s exterior and wonder about what makes it tick and how it came to evolve into what it is today.

I cannot wait to make the trek across the pond with my fellow CR10-ers and experience all Europe has to offer us!  If the dinner meetings are any indication of what those 4 weeks will be like, Europe needs to be preparing for us rather than us preparing for it!

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