What did you want to be when you were younger, an NBA star, doctor, lawyer? I can’t remember what exactly I wanted to be but I’m definitely sure that whatever it was, it was not what I am going to school for now. I never thought I’d be attending The Ohio State University, studying Agribusiness and Applied Economics. I’m sure my childhood dream involved some scheme of making millions of dollars while never working a day in my life. Although I never thought I’d be doing this, here I am, writing a blog for the college about some of the crazy things I never thought I’d do.
One of these crazy things that I never thought I’d do was study abroad. I’ll be honest, traveling to another country that doesn’t speak English for six weeks just wasn’t something that appealed to me. I’m also not a fan of flying long distances, and I don’t like to step out of my comfort zone. Despite this, I did want the opportunity to become more involved within our college and gain more experience and knowledge about agriculture and economics. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I was asked to join Alpha Zeta Partners, an honorary fraternity within our college. One of the unique things about AZP is members participate in a leadership, diversity and an organizational change retreat as well as a six week study abroad to Brazil where economics, agriculture, history and sociology are studied. This intrigued me enough to step out of my comfort zone and apply. I’m glad I joined because it has been some of my greatest college memories.
We traveled as an 18 member class in the winter of 2010 to São Paulo, Brazil. While aboard, we attended class regularly but we also had fun activities planned in the evenings and weekends. Some neat things we did were stay with a host family for a weekend being fully immersed in the Brazilian culture and help with a service project where we painted a new home for a homeless family. These things were great but the best memories were the things I never thought I’d do, let alone on a study aboard. These memories were white water rafting, visiting the world’s largest waterfall, going inside the world’s second largest dam and hydro electric plant, eating chicken heart and other Brazilian foods, dancing in Samba clubs til the morning hours, seeing uncommon agriculture practices, watching McDonalds’ food being made, and making new friendships.
I never thought I’d do any of these things but I did and they all were made possible because of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and because I stepped out of my comfort zone. What things can CFAES help you accomplish that you never thought you’d do?