Friday September 2, 2016


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once and a while, you could miss it" - Ferris Bueller

Every morning, I skim through the New York Times Daily Debrief.  At the end of each debrief is a “Back Story” that describes what has happened in history on the same day.  Today, it was about a famous speech given by Harvard student, Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 1837, on higher education.

 Emerson spoke highly of Europe’s advanced higher education compared to the more “timid” American scholar.  Given that this was almost two hundred years ago, there’s a lot to consider between Europe and America’s education system, but it sparked my interest.  Next semester, I will be studying abroad in France and only recently decided on a major in International Studies with a concentration in Education.  If you asked me a year ago what I wanted to do or if I knew anything about the field I am in now, I would have laughed and proceeded to call my mom in a panic over having zero clue what I wanted to do with my life.  While I still make those calls, they are much more seldom.  I have discovered my fascination with international education and various paths down which it can lead me.  Reading about Emerson’s thoughts on higher education, it made me additionally curious to see what I may find throughout my studies abroad next semester and future career.  The one change I would like to make to his comment, however, would be that an American scholar is not a “timid” one, but a “fortunate” one.  We are given everything we need to fulfill our personal version of the “American Dream” and it’s our duty to do so the best we can. 

The best advice I can give about deciding on a major or what you want to do when you “grow up” is to LOOK UP (cell phones don’t carry those types of answers) and talk to every person you can.  There are tons of books to read, conferences to attend, and TED talks to listen to, but the thing that has helped me most is talking to people.  Now is the time to create the start to the rest of your life. At UD, we have been graced with the freedom to do whatever we choose.  If you continue researching and networking, I’m confident you’ll discover something about yourself and find an interest that will guide you for the rest of your life. 


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