Hiram College

Written by Savannah Dean ’18

This blog post is written in response to Savannah’s spring 2017 3-week study abroad trip to the United Kingdom with Professors Paul Gaffney and Rick Hyde.

Going on an exchange trip is one of the most valuable experiences you could have in life. Traveling to the UK was eye opening. You get to learn about people who are different from yourself, people who think and talk in a different way. You get to see the beauty of the world as well as test yourself both mentally and physically. Traveling abroad is a good way to test and see what you are truly capable of. While you are traveling it is unavoidable that something will go wrong but you always have to be ready to make the best of it.

We ended up being stuck in airports for hours upon hours only to end up having to stay in New York for the night. On that day we as a group were tested. It takes a positive and upbeat group to make the best of it. That’s exactly what we did. We were patient and understanding of each other. I learned how patient I can truly be. Even though I can be an introverted person and need alone time and space, I learned how to handle being under a stressful situation and still  make the most of it with a large group of people.

Another time that I felt that I was tested is when a group of us decided that we were going to climb a mountain. Albeit it was small mountain but it was a mountain nonetheless. For the longest time hiking up that mountain I thought that I was not going to make it and that I did not want to continue on. Then I thought for a moment, “what’s the point of making it this far to not finish?” That is when a switch flipped in my mind and I had to make it to the top. However, these were not the only situations I felt tested during.

As I stated earlier, I consider myself to be an introverted person. Traveling in a group with twenty-three other people was not always easy. Often times I just wanted to be alone but that was typically impossible, especially with between four to ten girls all staying in the same room. Towards the end of the trip people did start to irritate me. Drama did occur, but we learned over the course of the three weeks to handle dealing with other people. It was not expected that we all get  along with each other all of the time. That’s nearly impossible. If you are traveling with a group of people, it is okay to put space between yourself and them. To not run into arguments and misunderstandings for such a long period of time is impossible.

Over the course of three weeks I became much more in tune to who I am as a person. I realized through these tests that I can do anything I set my mind to no matter what anyone else says. I can overcome my own personal challenges no matter what.