Study Abroad

Topics: Medicine, Europe, Doctor Who Pages: 3 (757 words) Published: February 1, 2014
They say there’s no substitute for experience. This applies to more than the critical down in a playoff football game, the diagnosis of a patient presenting compounding symptoms, or the split second you have to react when avoiding a potentially fatal car accident. Experience allows you to take action confidently during key moments when reading something in a book, seeing pictures, and watching film cannot prepare you.

Categorizing my twenty one years of life as “filled with new and exciting experiences” would be a crime. All my life I have felt like I have lived inside a giant bubble. Growing up just outside of Chicago, suburban life constituted 100% of my life experiences (barring a few vacations here and there). I had never been exposed to the world of drugs, violence, or poverty. I “knew” these things existed because of books, movies, and the news but deep down I was always convinced they were heavily exaggerated.

Coming to Houston in the Fall of 2010 opened my eyes to a whole new part of the world I had never seen before. The area surrounding Rice was composed of a wide range of socioeconomic classes. This was the complete opposite of what I had seen growing up. My suburb of Naperville was composed entirely of wealthy, upper-class families. Everyone owned the same things, dressed the same way, and had the same resources. No one was aware that numerous people had so much less than us.

Volunteering at the Houston Medical Center exposed me to many victims of violent crimes. These people probably went through more in one night than I had in my life. It came as a huge shock that there was more to the world than what I had grown up experiencing. From my first semester on, I was determined to explore and see as much of the world as possible. Only then would I be satisfied with my personal world-view. Through joining various clubs and organizations on campus, I found different ways to get involved in communities that were foreign to me whether it was...
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