At the beginning of April, we had our annual Global Engagement day, which this year was put together but my good friend Hennessy. Last year, I wasn’t able to attend this day, but this year I was, and I am so glad.
Basically Global Engagement Day is a full day of panel discussions, and presentations lead by GEF’s, on different topics. The discussion I went to was about women and minorities abroad. I was so excited to hear from other peoples experiences, especially since I am about to go abroad for the entirety of this summer. On the panel, there were many diverse individuals represented and I absolutely loved getting to hear everything they had to say. One of the men on the panel who identified as gay, talked about his experience in Paris. Although he said being gay in Paris wasn’t any harder than it is here, he explained how being tall was the harder part. He said he had trouble fitting into showers, beds. This is something I never even thought about. He discussed how the Parisians are just not large people, they are small, and he talked about how he felt as if he stood out because of his size, not his sexuality, I found this very interesting. Another individual talked about they’re trouble with pronouns in different countries. They talked about how in Iceland, where they were from, the pronouns for transgender persons are the same pronouns as people use for objects. They discussed how they didn’t want to use these pronouns, and I don’t blame them. How could people place a human being and an object in the same realm?
This panel was very eye opening and I found it very inspiring to hear both peoples happy times, and sad ones while abroad. A good point one of my friends brought up that I really took importance to was that you don’t always have to enjoy every second of being abroad. He said that of course when we think of it, we think of being happy, and having a ball every minute. We don’t think about the times we will be sad, or homesick, or just really want to see our parents and family. This is something I think is important for everyone to remember. Because in my opinion, sometimes when we are struggling, we are truly growing the most. I am so glad this panel occurred this year, and I am so glad I was able to absorb some different view points and learn about others experiences.