Sitting here in the plush seat of my kitchen, when I think about my time in Ireland, it feels like a distant memory. During the time I was there, time seemed to move relatively slow in the best way possible - I was fully engaged in my environment, making the best out of each moment I was there. However, thinking through a retrospective lens, the time went by all too fast. It almost seems strange that each morning I wake up in my bed in Portland, Oregon and not to the beams of sunlight sneaking through the cracks of my shades on the campus of UCD. I miss the ability to explore a new environment. More specifically, I miss the ability to take a 30-minute bus ride after work to go to the beach if I want to change up my post-work schedule. A unique element of my trip to Ireland, which I appreciated, was that I could be completely surrounded by city life while also having the ability to ride for twenty minutes and be right on the coast and watch the ocean hit the shore.
Being home has given me the time to properly reflect about the time I spent abroad and how it has helped shape me as a person. One of the major ways I've been changed by this trip is that I feel more confident with change. During the school year, I am in an environment where my surroundings are familiar, everything I do is scheduled, and I know how to access everything that I need. While I was in Ireland, I was forced to adapt to the surroundings I found myself in (whether that be securing food, finding ways to be successful, or even planning excursions). Being in a completely foreign environment has helped me to realize that I am more capable and versatile than I thought myself to be. Being abroad has also helped me grow by broadening my perspective on culture and diversity. There is no one right way to live life and I appreciated the broad array of cultural differences I experienced in Ireland. Experiencing different cultural norms, mannerisms, and standards of conversation heightened my consciousness of how the way I grew up has shaped my mannerisms and, in turn, how I come across to others.
I have been very fortunate to have this ability to travel the world and I hope that through my experiences overseas, I can bring back my newly refined wisdom about the world and share it with many others.
All my best to you,
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<p>My name is Rachael Haugh and I am currently a Sophomore Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems major from Portland, Oregon. Here at TCU, I have previously had a sports marketing internship with TCU Athletics, am currently a member of the Neeley Leadership Program, and work as a Manager for TCU Womens' basketball. When I'm not completing homework assignments or playing intramural sports, I can be found cooking/baking, hiking, or meeting new people.</p>