It’s finally setting in. The whole experience. I remember our guides saying how it would all hit us later on, once we were back home, back to our normal lives. I find myself thinking a lot about what happened and how I grew during my time in India, even when I didn’t quite realize it at the time. We received a lot of feedback during the month and I think that it’s all really settling in now. A lot of the times we don’t realize something in the moment but when we look back we have a better perspective.
I learned a lot about myself on the trek and throughout the month, I also learned a lot as a student. Both the hard and soft skills I learned in the Himalayas will be incredibly beneficial to all my future endeavors. It started with the WAFA training which I touched on in my last blog post. Along with the CPR and Epi-pen training, the skills that I learned during these trainings are so important. The leadership classes we took will truly benefit me in my professional career. I think not only is leadership about learning how to “lead” but it’s about being a part of the team as well and surrounding yourself with a diverse group of people who have numerous different strengths. Having been able to learn from numerous experienced instructors and their own different perspectives of leadership was amazing but also being able to develop into my own strengths during the trek was even more amazing.
When I was thinking back on the trek, I wasn’t as focused on the leadership aspect but more on reflection in general. But thinking about it now, I have realized that a lot of what I had reflected on did relate to leadership. During my one on one reflections with Vipol we often talked about points of improvement, while with my fellow group members we talked about one another’s strengths. I was made more aware of both my strengths and weaknesses. I think that personally, professionally, and academically being able to hone in on my strengths while also working on my areas of weakness can benefit me on whatever path I take. I have been in a couple leadership positions during my time in high-school and college, and I would love to hopefully take on a leadership position in the future. I think that I can take what I have learned and the growth I experienced on this trek and apply it to any position I find myself in.
When it comes to the expectations I had for both the cultural aspect of the trip as well as my own personal expectations, I think they were met pretty well. I didn’t have many expectations for the cultural aspect and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I think that that was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Getting to learn and be exposed to a completely different culture, religion, and lifestyle was a really cool experience. Personally, I had some expectations of myself, I always do. Just like many in the group I am a high achiever and always hold myself to high expectations. I knew I wanted to learn more about myself on the trip. Who I am and how I work and I did. I think having some of my own self reflection along with hearing our instructors and their own perspective of me was really eye opening. Feedback is hard to take but looking back on it now, I am really appreciative of the feedback they gave to me.
I am so beyond thankful for having this opportunity and it was a one in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. The growth I had and what I learned will leave a impact on my life forever.