I attended the National Student Leadership Conference for Medicine and Health Care at Northwestern University in the summer of 2010. My original plan was to learn how to be a stronger leader and learn more about the field I want to pursue, medicine. While I did those things in the ten day conference, I also learned more about college life and the world around me.
I stayed in Slivka Halls, ate meals in the Sargent Dining Halls, and went to meetings in the Donald P. Jacobs Center. For ten days I got to experience the life of a college student and enjoyed my time. Slivka Halls was a great place to work on projects in NSLC. Sargent Dining Halls was a great place to get meals and had a wide variety of food. We had time to go and explore what community had to offer. There were places to buy food, sports attire, and even a movie theater. My favorite location was the Barnes and Noble bookstore. Being a huge reader, having a bookstore nearby is a great comfort. I guess from this I learned that college is more than academics. After this experience I knew I needed to take lifestyle into consideration in my college search.
The trip to Evanston for me was less than a thirty minute drive, but other people had to cross mountains, rivers, and even oceans to get here. I was the fifth person in the dorm room when I entered. We broke the ice as soon as we could by sharing stories and information. Just in that circle of people there were kids from as far north as Vermont and west as Kansas. After the whole conference split into four groups, I made an awesome new friend from Colorado and met teenagers from Italy and Africa. Once the conference was over, the hardest part was leaving my new friends with the knowledge I may never see any of them again. Modern technology has allowed us to stay connected but of course as time passes we talk less and less. Yet I still have the attached picture framed and on top of my book shelf to this day. A good thing about this experience is it taught me that even as the world grows smaller, it’s still pretty big and full of great people I have yet to meet.
My family goes on vacation about once a year and we have good times and bad times. But of all the trips I have been on, this one meant the most to me. That may be partly because I was on my own instead of surrounded by many people I know. As great as spending time with my family is, it was by having my own trip I was able to get a real meaningful experience from it. Normally, I am the kind of person who enjoys stability and dislikes traveling too much. But it is by going on trips, even for ten days, that I get out of my comfort zone and grow as a person who lives in a very vast and dynamic world. That was the most important lesson I learned.
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