Greetings, cyberspace! My name is Haley Frey and I just completed my junior year at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a Chemistry major and am looking forward to attending pharmacy school upon graduation from Pitt. Outside of the classroom, I am involved in the American Chemical Society and well as club ultimate frisbee. As this school year comes to an end, I am extremely grateful for all of the experiences I have had and the incredible people I have met, which ultimately has left me even more ecstatic to see what the summer has to offer!
During the month of May, I will be in Mussoorie, India for the Leadership in the Himalayas panther program. This will be my first ever trip outside of the western hemisphere, and I could not be more excited! The Leadership in the Himalayas program was extremely appealing to me because of its experiential learning component. After all, it’s one thing to sit in a classroom to discuss theories and other abstract concepts, but it’s another to go and DO. Trekking through the Himalayan backcountry will certainly be the experience of a lifetime and I am so eager to see what’s in store for me on this journey.
As thrilled as I am to be heading to India, a part of me can’t help but be a little nervous. While I have been on plenty of shorter day hikes, this will be my first official, multi-day backpacking excursion. The trekking component of this trip may very well become the most physically and mentally exhausting thing I have ever done, but I know it will also be one of the most rewarding! I am looking forward to having opportunities to apply the leadership methods discussed in lecture in order to develop my own personal leadership style and rely on my strengths in the moments I need to overcome adversity.
I anticipate that one of the most significant impacts this study abroad experience will have on me will be an increased understanding of my own cultural values and biases. Being presented with this opportunity to immerse myself into such an unfamiliar environment will hopefully bring about many opportunities for me to reflect on my own views of the world as I interact with others of various backgrounds. During the program, I will likely be pushed out of my comfort zone every day, but I know that every moment I spend outside of my comfort zone will be an opportunity for personal growth!