Blogged by: Mollie Attenson
I was asked to write a reflection of my journey and experience studying abroad. I believe I set out to do the program to find myself, discover who I am and what I believe in- by seeing how others live and experiencing different cultures around the world. Throughout my life so far I have traveled around the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Virgin Islands, but never to Europe. I was so grateful to have this opportunity to go somewhere different, where I could experience things outside my comfort zone and see how I would react and adapt to them.
Denis Waitley once said, “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” I have always had a strong vision for my future and I can say after this program my vision has never been more clear. There is always something scary about going into the unknown, but I have learned that once you take that leap into it you come out learning and knowing much more. I have enjoyed seeing a different way of education, teaching, and interacting with others.
Seeing how people are in the UK v the US is interesting. I have definitely seen a difference in people and personalities. In a vague and general statement, I feel that people in the UK can take “banter” and do not overcompensate in complements or stating appreciation, yet they treat everyone and their mother’s -best friend’s – brother-in-law- with respect and care. Whereas Americans can come off as rude and brash yet are not meaning to be, they are just being more to the point. It was interesting adapting to the difference in way people act, but I know it has taught me to take sarcasm in a different light and truly appreciate when a great deed is done.
Studying fashion and business you are told what a true innovator is, what luxury is, fashion, style, grace, elegance, success, etc… but through this experience I have been able to formulate my own opinions and definitions for several things. Being and living in a different culture and society has let me blend ideas and ideologies to become more of an innovator and risk taker in my personal and professional life.
This all went by way too fast. I have really learned to live in the moment and stop worrying about what is next. I know that the only thing I can control is the here and now and I must appreciate every minute of it. I have always been one to think for myself, aloud. As Coco Chanel once said ”The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” One thing I that has become much more clear to me is that I have a strong personality, that one day will be great in a board room and as a leader of a company. In addition I can really hear and listen to what others are saying without bias, by doing that it allows a successful and progressive conversation to formulate.
I would highly recommend this program for those ready to take on the unknown. In order to do this successfully I believe you need to be strong, independent, determined, and extremely hard working. This program is not easy. It is a lot of independent work and many people trust you will figure it all out on your own. When it is all said and done you discover how to do things and will come out a more mature person, ready to take on whatever life throws at you.
Bellow are some of my favorite moments of the semester and experiences I had…