The quality I admire the most about my CR11 experience is the fact that it forces me to deal with matters I would tend to ignore out of convenience. A few things I have learned about myself in a multitude of ways (introspection, conversations, and situations) include:
- I am someone is honest, intentional, strong-minded, and goofy. In the words of Dr. P, I am someone who is kind to my core. I have learned that I have a calming presence and a strength for understanding people for who they are. I enjoy fostering relationships and seeking out the thoughts of others; however, I also learned that I need a decent balance of time reserved completely to myself in order to be fully present and as patient as possible when dealing with being surrounded by a much larger group.
- I am someone who makes others feel at home with my inquisitive, yet heartfelt questions and knack for listening beyond what people may verbally say. I have the tendency to focus on the larger picture of the needs of people around me, and it is something that I should remember more often so that I can hopefully allow for others to feel heard and valued.
As stated in my pre-reflection blog post, this was my first time ever stepping foot out of the country. I’m someone who loves adventure and doesn’t mind change, so naturally I predicted that spending three weeks abroad wouldn’t be much of a challenge to me. Update: I was wrong. Throughout my lifetime, I’ve developed a keen sense of accurately reading people and social situations. In a way, it has become second nature for me to know how to act or what to think based upon what was most likely going to occur around me. I never realized before that this gave me a sense of comfort and sureness until it was stripped away from me. The level of unfamiliarity I found myself encountering at times left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure/anxious. This experience allowed me to relate to a prevalent issue back home of culture shock faced by minority students at predominantly white institutions. My high school was quite similar to TCU in several ways, demographics included. Because of this, I had grown accustomed to being one of few minorities in different spaces. Fortunately, this allowed for me to not have to endure true culture shock my very first year of college. However, this isn’t the case for many incoming freshman. Having this experience in my own unique manner has allowed me to connect more with this issue and inspired me to help with this transitional period.
My favorite thing I discovered about myself throughout this experience is that I am not afraid to be wrong. I am not hesitant to ask questions, hear people out, and perhaps be influenced by what they have to say. I believe the purpose of life is to learn from every person around you in some form or fashion. The bottom line is, one person can never know it all. As Princess Rita said, “We often think we are superior, but in reality we never are.” The bottom line is, it’s okay to be wrong about things as long as you learn from them. Being influenced is not always as bad as people make it out to be.
I’ll end this reflection post with words of advice from Dr. Pitcock that will always keep me thinking in the future:
“Be Brave. Be Authentic. Be uncommon.”
Shock the world!