As a measly first semester freshman at TCU, Cultural Routes seemed like a looming giant that was oft whispered about but rarely openly discussed. “CR” was the experience of legends; everyone who had gone on it had been the best of the best, so the way I saw it, there was no way I was going to be accepted. I wanted to apply, but I didn’t think I’d get it. It wasn’t until the day the application was due that I decided the opportunity was too good to pass up. I clicked on the link, filled out the questions in approximately an hour, and turned it in probably thirty minutes before it was due. I felt regret the minute I hit the submit button, but after that I refused to give it a second thought. I didn’t get it, but at least I applied. Now I could at least tell my mom I tried.
It wasn’t until I was 7 hours into driving home from school, going thirty over in a desperate attempt to escape the semi-trucks that seemed to be trying really hard to run me down, that CR crossed my mind again. The soft ‘ding’ of an email startled me out of my road trip daze, and I glanced at the screen to see the words “PITCOCK, RONALD” in the scrolling bar across the top. I panicked and threw my phone at my sister, who clicked on the link and read the email aloud. The words hung in mid-air, so dense with meaning they almost felt tangible. Then my sister erupted into cheers and called our parents to tell them the good news, but there was suddenly a thickness in my brain, and I couldn’t hear the congratulations over the sound of my own confusion. I got invited to Cultural Routes? But…why?
I’m really glad that’s the first question I thought of, because apparently I never actually get an answer to it. Ironic.
I’m excited about many things that are to come: the unique history of the cities, the distinct cultures, the food. The art and literature are already being heavily researched. I’m eager to learn about new and exciting things in such a unique environment and with people I may not otherwise know. But I’m also ready to be challenged and forced outside of my comfort zone. There’s a very good chance I will find myself in situations that I won’t know how to handle, but it’s important that I experience them so I learn how to manage things I might not otherwise face.
I’m so happy to be part of such an amazing group of people and to have such a great opportunity. I can’t wait to get to know everyone better and to take on Europe in just a few short weeks. And I can’t wait to keep asking Dr. P questions that he can’t answer.