DEREK FYE | firstname.lastname@example.org
The learning environment provided by higher education institutions is not only one of great importance for intellectual development, but is also one that can have a wide range of learning opportunities and life experiences. These opportunities are just as vital and valuable as those learned in the academic classroom setting.
It is easy to settle into the routine of college life and to forget to honestly consider and explore the outside world for which college is actually meant to be preparing students. The best way to prepare for the world is to get out of your comfort zone and go and live in it.
Worth the cost
This is much easier said than done. The process and all the paperwork for new experiences does take some time and effort to complete and does cost money, as with everything worthwhile in life. However, I do not view these obstacles as negative things. It is just the beginning of the life lessons in that everything worth doing in life will have some sort of cost, whether physical, emotional, monetary or in some other way.
The wonders of Scotland
If it were easy, then what would be learned from the experience? In the beginning of my stay in Scotland, I did have the common question (at least for me) when I’m in a completely new place: what am I doing here? (Although Scotland answered that question faster than any other place I have ever been to.) The people are warm and friendly, the food (and drink) is good and unique and the scenery, whether you’re in the city or outside of it, is absolutely beautiful.
The most significant lesson that I have learned from this experience is definitely the power of being an individual. I do not mean that in the march-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drummer sense (although that too is an important truth). Be an individual by trying new things and meeting new people.
I learned this by observing the difference between how people would interact with me when I am alone vs. when I am with a group of other students. This is not to say that hanging out with other students is a bad thing; there are many great students here, and they are certainly another plus to this already incredible opportunity. However, in my experience, it is immeasurably fun to go out with local residents and just get immersed in their culture and way of life.