I have truly enjoyed this trip like no other. I feel as though I have found out so much about myself that I did not really know. I learned what I wanted from life due to experiencing other cultures. I learned that there are some things in America I have taken advantage of and did not appreciate as much as I will when I return.
It has been different going from the midwest everyday student and work life to experiencing four beautiful cities to learn about fashion and business. It has also been a great opportunity to find some independence and know I can handle being away from home on my own. It’s a wonderful feeling. Growing as a person and changing as a person are two different things, and I think I have done both. I have grown from experiences and learning the culture. I have seen sights and gazed into the Italian sun which I never dreamed possible. Reflecting on and analyzing these experiences has changed me. Change is not a bad thing and I love to know that with every new experience, I will grow and I will be changed by that growth.
Since this was an educational trip, in more than one way, it has helped me determine what I want to do with my life. I always knew I liked to travel but now, I feel I have to go somewhere new. I never want to stop learning about societies and cultures.
I now know however, not in a bad way, that I do not want to be a fashion buyer as I thought I always did. I was going to go to graduate school for fashion marketing, but after this program I have learned that I am not captivated by the fashion industry as I should be if I want to make a career out of it. I do not follow blogs or trends or celebrities. I have never really payed attention to the luxury brands. I have not ever had an interest in designing or the textiles aspect. I have always known I love marketing and the media though, and from this trip, it’s really shown me the direction I want my life to go.
I love clothes still and I always will. I am more interested in how clothing makes people feel though. I want to know the stories behind why people buy what they buy, consumer behavoir more or less. Fashion and clothes will always be a huge influence in my life, but from this trip I have realized the industry is not for me.
Studying abroad has allowed me the pleasure to see museums and fill my Instagram up with beautiful scenery. It has allowed me to be a more capable person and a global citizen. In the end, studying abroad was the best decision I ever made, for so many reasons. I have learned so much and knowledge is power.