By: Shauna Wright
The most accurate way I could describe what it is like to move across the country adapting to a new culture, educational system and increasing amount of fatty foods, would be to consider myself a fish out of water. I’m more than happy being a fish out of water which is rather ironic considering a fish’s struggle can lead to death. It can lead to death if not put back quick enough. However, I’m hoping that not being put back to my natural habitat quick enough will lead to the opposite: STRENGTH. Working out the mathematics of the situation, I would have been away from all things familiar for a total of fifteen weeks: a scary but thrilling thought.
Flying into Baltimore Washington International Airport, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew when stepping off of the plane was that I was no longer just Shauna, I was now Shauna the Human Sponge. During my exchange at Goucher College I planned to soak up as much as I possibly could.
So far, I have had an incredibly exciting time abroad. What has become very apparent, as well as being one of the things that I have enjoyed the most thus far is the openness of the community of students and professors here at Goucher. I have experienced a refreshing amount of politeness, kindness and overall enthusiasm from the students towards their learning, inside and outside of the classroom. It’s contagious. Furthermore, the professors’ passionate insight has reopened my mind to possibility. I know that I have only been at Goucher for one month, but I can already feel a shift in the attitude that I have towards the potential of my work. I am beginning to feel that my work is good enough and that it is ok to make mistakes within my work because mistakes are a chance for my work to improve. Whereas at my university back home, I would stress profusely. I would act like it was the end of the world if my work was not what I deemed: perfect.
I am now beginning to relax more within my work and as a person. I believe my relaxation has a large amount to do with the positive and accepting environment that I am lucky enough to be learning in: The best is yet to come.
Referring to the fish metaphor that I mentioned at the begging of my article, I believe that it is important to establish that there are two major differences between a struggling fish and I. If not put back quick enough; a fish out of water would simply struggle, gasping for air and die. Whereas, I know that being out of my natural habitat will strengthen my character. I hope to blossom beautifully like a flower in spring. This will not be despite the struggles that I will face during my journey, but because of them.