At Cabrini College, students are encouraged to say yes to various opportunities that come along. Those opportunities in my major could be to have a radio show or write for the campus news. Some school-wide opportunities include studying abroad or going on a service trip, the latter of which could be abroad or within the states. These are just a few of the things which we have had the chance to say yes to as a way to gain experience, stand out and be global citizens.
Some opportunities to which I have said yes included my overall involvement with Loquitur, the campus news. I’ve been a part of the publication since the fall 2010 semester with duties of staff writer and photographer, assistant perspectives editor and now one of two copy editors. This semester in particular led to another opportunity to say yes to: becoming practicum student for the Woodcrest Literary Magazine, another campus publication. Both Loquitur and Woodcrest are award-winning publications, by the way. The practicum gives opportunities to not only submit work to the magazine, but also to help promote various literary events. Although this is going to be my only semester with Woodcrest, it has inspired me to start working on creative non-fiction writing ideas. I’ve written one so far, based on a trip to NYC; other ideas will also be based on travel experiences, past and future.
Other academic opportunities that I wanted to say yes to included those study abroad and one of the service trips. However, finances were somewhat of an obstacle. So while I won’t be able to say that I accomplished these as an undergraduate, I’d like to work on doing so in the real world or even if I go to grad school. I feel like a global citizen to an extent because I know about what happens in the world beyond my local area, my state, region and country. I am aware of some problems happening throughout the world, problems that I didn’t know about prior to either a particular class or an awareness event on campus. However, my actual experience in going global has yet to begin and that’s what I want to say yes to changing. I don’t want to look at my lack of international travel during my undergraduate years as a missed opportunity. I’d rather look at it as, “I can always pursue these goals after college and add to the in-school knowledge I have.” Besides, it’s not impossible. And, it shows that I want to put what I learned to good use whether in my career or as I travel.
My travels to date have been within a certain stretch of the east coast states, from New York City to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So far, NYC is the only place I’ve been to within New York; I’ve been all up and down between the Jersey Shore points of Cape May to Point Pleasant, as well as the N.J. towns of Holmdel, Lakewood and Glassboro. Going to Delaware has mostly been for shopping and dining out. I’ve been to Washington, D.C. a few times. In Maryland, I’ve been to Baltimore, Annapolis and Havre de Grace. In Virginia, Williamsburg was the main attraction and finally, the same goes for the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Here in my home state of Pennsylvania, I’ve gone as far west as Johnstown and north as far as Ricketts Glen State Park.
I would love to see all of the states over time; I’d also love to travel as far as Australia and New Zealand on a combo trip. Australia is one such place with plenty that I want to see: the famous natural site of Uluru, as well as the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. New Zealand, with its own natural sites, would also be a great photography destination for me.
Of course, there are plenty of other countries that I dream of visiting as well whether on my own or as part of graduate level studies. Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, France, Italy and Greece are just a few of those on my must-see list. A large part of my family history is Irish, Scottish, English and Welsh; a little bit from both German and French ancestors. As for Italy and Greece, what draws me to those are the great sites of their ancient times.
So, how to I make any of these goals a reality? There are probably some alumni travel options to look into. As far as service trips, I can probably combine that with the overall efforts of travel by volunteering at some point wherever I go. Given that, I feel that I really haven’t lost out on such opportunities altogether by not taking part as an undergraduate. I definitely plan to take on these goals at some point beyond graduation day. It’s just a matter of beating any obstacles that come up, whether they are financial, health or simply scheduling-related; such things can happen to anyone, of course. I hope that my photography and writing will help me to pursue my travel dreams, during which I can give back through documenting the experiences. That is especially useful in bringing awareness to a cause that I could volunteer for while going global.
What countries do you want to visit? In your travels, what causes would you volunteer for?