As I begin writing this, I am entirely unable to even momentarily ignore the fact that I will be on a plane flying toward the wonderful land of New Zealand in less than two weeks. An entire country filled with mountains, volcanoes, beaches, caves, Hobbit holes, and many other things which, if you read my first post, you’ll know I am passionate about. However, there are plenty more things which I am elated to learn about and experience while studying abroad, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there I’ll tell you what it is I’m looking forward to while I’m there:
Food and I go way back, almost 20 years! For as long as I can remember, I’ve been eating. What some see as a monotonous chore that humans are required to accomplish in order to receive the nutrients their bodies require in order to properly function, I see as an opportunity to bless my tongue with the taste of delicacies. What may come as a surprise to you, though, is that my eating habits are infamously selective. That is to say, many of the people closest to me know that I like the foods that I like, and I heavily dislike those that I dislike. There is little to no gray area here. Despite all of this, I am excited for what New Zealand does for my palette. Since there is no cafeteria like Ruth’s Marketplace at the University of Canterbury, I will have to fend for my own meals day by day using nothing but my wits, three pieces of wood, a shoestring, and possibly a few New Zealand dollars. Whether I’m heating up a bowl of ramen noodles (again) or trying something entirely new, I will enjoy each and every meal knowing that I am lucky to be eating in New Zealand and I am lucky to be eating at all.
Faculty is one of the primary reasons that I chose St. Norbert College over every other college in existence for my time as an undergraduate student. Throughout the many courses I have taken in geology, philosophy, and other fields, I have learned that the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge CAN be fun. I know this may come as a shock to those of you reading this that are still in high school, but it is true. What seems to always be my favorite part of each course is the individual leading and teaching it. Even if a particular topic of discussion seems bland to me, I am interested in the fact that there is a person standing in front of me talking with the same enthusiasm about this topic as I would have talking about the relationship between pyrite and marcasite. It’s incredible! It is nothing short of the truth for me to say that with the help of my professors, I have come to realize what it is that I want to study and (just maybe) what it is I want to do with the degree I receive at the end of it all. I hope with the highest of hopes that I can meet the same quality of faculty that will inspire me to achieve greatness once I begin studying at the University of Canterbury.
Friends mean a whole lot more to me than a television program. That being said, I must now suppress the overwhelming urge within me to belt out the introduction to the song “I’ll Be There For You” by The Remembrandts… you win this time American sitcoms. In an attempt to end this paragraph on a serious note, I shall say this: I have made more friends in the past two years at St. Norbert College than I ever could have imagined. In fact, there was a time when I didn’t even know that many people were capable of thinking I was friend material! Naturally, with the friendships of my past and present astounding me as much as they do, what I cannot even begin to fathom now is how many friends I will make in New Zealand. My only hope is that they are just as excited to meet me as I am to meet them… and that at least one of them is not a rock.
Before I go on, I have a request for all those that are just crazy enough to consider me as a friend (and crazy enough to read this far): I implore you to think of a time when I made you smile, laugh, or even just think a happy thought. I would now further encourage you to reach out to me in any way that you can at your nearest convenience and tell me all about that memory you recollected. I truly believe your friendship will allow me to complete what is likely to be one of the happiest yet most challenging parts of my life.
Now, as I bring this piece to a close, I must confess that I have no concrete schedule for when updates will be posted once I arrive in New Zealand, but what you can count on is that I will submit notifications to my various social media profiles when a new piece of writing arrives. I hope that my writing continues to amuse, inspire, and interest you as my study abroad experience carries on.
Until next we meet,