Hiram College

Written by Jared Miller ’19

This blog is written in response to Jared’s Spring 2019 3-week trip to the United Kingdom with Professors Paul Gaffney and Brittany Jackson.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt 

Waking up on the first day of the trip was a nerve-racking one, yet it was incredibly exciting. Going into the trip I had many fears that I knew I would need to face. For example, my fear of flying, escalators, traveling abroad, and leaving my family for three weeks. However, I quickly faced these fears. This trip has taught me that it is important to face fears. 

The first fear to be faced was the fear of escalators. While at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport, everyone began to get on an escalator. I quickly realized that my fear was irrational because it was a flight of stairs that moves.  

Secondly, I faced my fear of flying. This was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. I was all worked up about going onto a plane without knowing anyone. (I did not know as many people on the trip initially as I do now.) But as we boarded the second plane, we all began to quickly bond. We all talked and ate together on the plane. Sitting with the newly found friends was quite relieving.  

Despite not getting much sleep on the plane, I think that it greatly helped us bond and become a closer group. The third fear that I faced through traveling was being away from my family. I thought that I would be incredible homesick, but I have not been homesick whatsoever.  Sleeping away from home can be difficult, but it hasn’t been.  

My final fear was that of being in large crowds. This may have not been a large problem as of yet (since we haven’t been in London), but even in the medium sized crowds I have been completely fine. In towns such as Chester and Stratford-Upon-Avon the citizens are so kind and willing to help because they recognize that there are tourists within their cities.  

Because of my experiences traveling abroad, I know believe that it should be a requirement of all students. The group of students so quickly forms solidarity and it is wonderful to become close in such a small amount of time. Facing fears is something that we all must do and studying abroad greatly helps with facing fears