Can’t Stop Smiling

The day I received the news that I would be a part of CR 11 will be one to remember. 

I distinctly remember lounging on my basement couch with my younger brother when I got a text from my Fraternity Big Brother, who happens to be a CR alumnus. I didn’t think too much of it at first, but then I saw that there was a video attached to the message, which seemed a bit peculiar. I paused what Jack and I were doing to look at the message. Kyle, my Big, wrote that he had enjoyed having me as a Little so much that he made a video for me. Although Kyle and I are very close (and I hope he appreciates me that much), it did seem to be a bit of an odd gesture. Needless to say, I was suspicious. 

Hearing Dr. Pitcock say that I was going on CR 11 was a dream come true. Ever since my older brother embarked on the Cultural Routes journey two years ago, I knew that if I came to TCU, I wanted to go on Cultural Routes. This dream becoming a reality left me awestruck. I just couldn’t stop smiling. The idea of backpacking through Europe with fifteen remarkable students and two incredible faculty members for three and a half weeks overwhelmed me with a sense of joy and excitement that is difficult to put into words. I also felt an immense amount of gratitude to be one of the chosen few, knowing the lengths of the rigorous application process. Additionally, revealing the news to my family was very special. Since my family was familiar with the Cultural Routes experience prior to my acceptance, they, upon hearing the news, understood the significance of this upcoming journey and how exceptional of a time it will be. Thus, sharing in celebration with them was very meaningful.

One of the seeming beauties about CR is that it is a time of purposeful growth. Many of these developmental aspects are apparent, like the perspectives that come from experiencing new cultures, traditions, foods, etc. or the intellectual development elicited from visiting museums, landmarks, and castles. Both gaining global perspectives and intellectual growth are some of my personal goals for this journey; these are a few of the primary reasons why I applied for CR 11. Yet, the mystery of CR, in my eyes, is the ways in which we will be challenged that we cannot quite foresee. Thus, I look forward to being uncomfortable. I look forward to being stretched. I look forward to being in situations that I cannot plan for. To me, these unprecedented scenarios tend to lead to the most personal growth. 

So here is to being lost… in a few short days to come.

See you in Berlin!

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