March 28, 2018 – As I sit in my dorm room, I try to evoke the emotions I have had over the last few months in regard to the Cultural Routes experience. Let me tell you, it has been one rollercoaster of emotions. The first week I stepped foot on campus, I met a few young men who had participated on CR9. Their description immediately sparked my interest in the
trip, excuse me, experience.
Cultural Routes is everything for which I live. I believe that one of the greatest things that we as humans can do is explore the world around us, and that is exactly what CR does. There is so much to learn, so much to do, and so much to be discovered. Everything in this world can be talked about or taught in a classroom in some way or another, and I do greatly value the learning that occurs in the classroom setting. However, learning that occurs outside the classroom setting with experience stepping in as the professor is exponentially more powerful and memorable than what we learn inside the classroom. There is something about experiencing things for ourselves instead of merely learning about them that cements them in our brains for us to hold onto for a lifetime.
After researching more about the experience, my excitement grew. Ever since I took a trip to Italy with my high school choir the summer after my freshman year, I have been thoroughly enamored with travelling. We live in such a vast world, that contains a myriad of things to be learned and experiences to be had. Once I got a taste of the excitement and adventure of exploration and discovery, I couldn’t help but crave more of this experience.
As I made my way through the fall semester, I met more and more people who had been on the Cultural Routes experience. The people were quite a diverse group, yet I seemingly kept running into more and more people who had been on CR. The more people I met the more excited and nervous I became about the opportunity to apply for CR. Despite their diversity, there were some commonalities that I found among all the past CR members that I met: CR had a unique but distinct and powerful impact on every one of them, each of them is using what he/her learned abroad to influence the work they are doing at TCU, and last but not least, every single person that I met inspired me.
I am unmeasurably excited to go on CR because of the opportunity to grow, learn, and explore Europe with 17 other amazing individuals. I am certain that I will have the experience of a lifetime on this trip. I know that the experiences I have will lead me to not only discover more about the world around me but also more about myself and those with whom I am travelling. I know that CR will challenge me to grow in ways that I cannot yet imagine. I know that CR will be an experience that challenges me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Cultural Routes will be everything but easy. I will need to be ALL IN 24/7, if I want to gain the most out of my experience, so that I too can inspire the next generation of CR students.
Until next time,