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First Year Of University Studies Essay

747 words - 3 pages

At the start of my undergraduate education, I was taken aback by what I had ahead of me. Now finally out of high school, a bevy of opportunities suddenly sprang themselves upon me. I was faced with the questions of what classes to take, what to study, what to participate in, how to fend for myself, how to accomplish my goals, and countless others. After struggling with these monumental questions, I realized that, in fact, nothing had changed. I was still the same person I had always been, only now presented with much more opportunity and room to grow. Thus, rather than continuing to flounder in grandiose thought, I began to experience what only a university can offer, by embracing the infinite potential presented to me.
The first of my forays into the unique environment of a university was participating in a study abroad program. As soon as I set foot on campus, my attention turned to winter break, when I traveled to London, England, with a group of fellow students and a professor. In the preceding quarter, we had met once every week, discussing nearly every imaginable aspect of the city of London, from its history as the center of an empire to the role it plays in human trafficking in the modern era. A small group format facilitated intimate and tangential discussion that often ran the gamut of areas, each speaker building off of the prior. We were each also assigned an academic paper dealing with the sociological stratification of certain ethnic groups in modern London, analyzing historical trends of immigration, cultural identity, relationships amongst ethnic groups, the assimilation and growth of foreign cultures into British culture, and geographical associations of certain areas of London with former inhabitants of different countries. While this in itself was an enlightening exercise in sociology, its value was tremendously increased by the subsequent first-hand interaction with the people, areas, and cultures we had studied in an academic setting. Foreign travel injects a certain vitality and actuality that completely transforms the dryness of purely analytically study; walking past a grand Greek Orthodox cathedral flanked by tavernas in the heart of London tells volumes that...

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