Winter break trip to South Africa blew my mind
As my final undergraduate semester at Quinnipiac is about to commence, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reminiscing about the past three-and-a-half years. Recalling all of my favorite memories, professors and experiences along the way has created a bit of nostalgia and made me want to be a freshman again. So, considering I really can’t do that, I started to brainstorm things I would want to pass on or tell the underclassmen to hopefully help make their time at Quinnipiac as great as mine has been. Although my time is not over yet, this semester will most likely be the craziest of them all so maybe I’ll have something else to say come May…but either way, I’ve thought of a variety of things I want to tell them but only one stands out.
Travel somewhere for a period of time.
It doesn’t matter if you go for a semester, a summer term, a three-week trip over winter break, or a shorter trip that only involves bike riding through Florence–no matter what the trip consists of, do it. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone (Quinnipiac) set behind beautiful Sleeping Giant with a sort of “snow globe feel” in the winter time will undoubtedly change your life forever and for the better.
I was fortunate enough to go to South Africa over winter break with one of the classes I’m taking this semester and the three weeks I spent there turned out to be the most incredible three weeks of my life. I can’t fully describe or express what exactly made the trip so amazing; it was the entire experience as a whole. Encountering and embracing a new culture, meeting and interacting with locals, participating in the things we did, seeing the places we went, and most importantly the people I went with all played vital roles in the journey.
We’ve all heard the quote, “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, and from the inside looking out you can’t explain it,” and have probably not thought a lot about it because it’s so cliché. Well, let me tell you that it may be cliché, tacky, far too overused as a Facebook photo album title, or a common saying for sororities, but I need to tell you that it’s spot on. Maybe I used to skim over the saying because I had yet to experience something that I could not fully express to people that weren’t “in it” too, maybe that’s why most of us don’t notice it. But I promise you that if you push yourself to go away from your typical daily lifestyle for a period of time to learn about a new place and the people within it, you will not regret it.
I encourage you to start thinking about this now because believe me, your time here will go by faster than you could ever imagine.
Photo credit: Julia Bucchianeri