Bye Bye Oklahoma: Thoughts about my exchange

So, it’s time to finally talk about it…. I am literally writing this on the last hour (I’ve been meaning to write this post for the last 3 weeks), but before I write about all the things I did when I was away traveling to Los Angeles and Chicago, I should talk about the thing that made possible for me to do all that: my exchange to Oklahoma City University.

It was a short time indeed, I stayed there for almost 5 months and this is not enough time to actually get attached to a place, at least not for me. But that does not mean that some of the small things that happened every day didn’t have any meaning.

I’m not sure why it took me this long to write a reflection about it. I guess since I got my mind in traveling and then getting back, I didn’t have much time to stop and think, and now that I do have that time I keep pushing it forward. Probably on my subconscious I was thinking “If I don’t write or talk about it than it didn’t end” or I am just incredibly lazy. Screw it, it could’ve been for both of those reasons, who knows. But enough of that, let’s talk about the real stuff.

okcuThe first thing that I noticed when my classes started at OCU was that I was genuinely excited to study. This was something that I always wanted to feel but never really got there. When I was in high school I couldn’t wait to go to the University and start studying something that I actually cared about, not something that an old educational system told me to. After I started studying journalism I noticed that my decision wasn’t quite good yet, so I changed to an Advertising degree. Which is great and I definitely do not regret that decision, but I still felt like something was missing.

I think that the difference between how I felt in Oklahoma and how I feel in Brazil was not only influenced by the subjects but also from the teachers. I was really scared at beginning thinking that the teachers would see me as a “dead weight” every time I asked something because I didn’t understand what they were saying. However every single one of them was so nice and I could see that they were really willing to help me and motivate me along the way.

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There is something different when your dealing with people that love what they do, they were not teaching because that was their jobs, they chose those jobs because they loved teaching and the loved what they were teaching.  I truly believe that I got extremely lucky and I couldn’t be more glad about it.

There was also the subjects. In my time there I enrolled in classes about Mass Communications, History of Rhetoric, Composition, and Western Literature. The dearest ones for me were Rhetoric and Western Literature, but the last one was probably the one that got me the most excited, and the one that made me realize how does it feel to truly love what you are studying. I’m not going into details of what was the class about, but it was a perfect mix between a great teacher and great subjects. On every exam the teacher handled back I felt better and better about myself, and to be honest I would do every single one of them again.

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The second thing that was really important to me and made my stay a lot more special were the people. I know that I’m terrible at meeting new people and only the thought of it makes me really anxious, I barely know how to properly introduce myself. So, to every single human being that I met (to the first graceful souls that picked me up at the airport and helped me to settle down at the University on the first day, and to the late friends made at the last minute) thank you so much for your hospitality and for making social interactions a lot less scary.

The other students that I met they were all so nice and such good friends, they made me feel a lot more welcomed and part of the OCU’s community. First, there were the other exchange students who helped me to first settle because they knew how hard it was. And later there were my classmates and other friends who did their best to welcome me to Oklahoma, taking me to places and helping me to understand how everything worked there. Even if we never speak again, each one of them has a special place in my heart.

I guess that if I had to sum up my time there in one picture it would be this one:

i-love-itSee you guys soon 🙂

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