Hailey's Blog

all about the world, written by a college girl

Month: May 2018

Adios America

T-1 week until I leave for Spain for the entire summer. The thought of it is frightening, but also thrilling. I will be going to Sevilla, Spain for 10 weeks this summer. Although I have been to Spain before, and this will be my fourth time to Europe, I am still incredibly nervous. The thought of moving somewhere I have never been, with people I have never met, is kind of unsettling. But then I think of everything. I think of how incredible European culture is, how  beautiful the Spanish language is; and I think of how much I love learning about new cultures.

I am not unaware that I will experience culture shock, unlike before, when I was just visiting Europe for 2 week blocks of time. I know it will be different, maybe even challenging at first to live with a host family. It will hard to adjust to eating dinner at 10:30-11:00 every night. But these adjustments are things I am excited for. I am excited to adjust to a new way of life, and mostly, I am just excited to be able to study in a different country and culture again. It is truly an experience like no other.

I will be taking 12 hours, traveling to new countries, and (hopefully) gaining fluency in a language I love. Last summer, I had the opportunity to go to Arezzo, Italy. However, this trip was only a little over 2 weeks; almost not even comparable in length to the 10 weeks I will be living in Sevilla.

I know that this summer I will not be happy every second. In fact, I think this is a flaw in most of our thinking before we go abroad. Everyone always says how amazing it is, which it is. However, every moment isn’t amazing. Before we go abroad, I feel like many of us students have this pre consumed thought that every moment has to be perfect. But that is not even close to true. There are times you will be homesick; I will be homesick. You will want to go home, speak english, or simply just have the convenience of hoping in a car to do everyday things. However, it is okay to feel like this. It is okay for every second to not be perfect, and I think that is a really important thought to keep in mind before heading abroad.

Next week I head off to Madrid, then to Sevilla by the end of next week. I am going to Morocco at the end of May, and hopefully plan to visit Portugal, Eastern Europe, Ibiza or Majorca, and some other places. I plan to blog throughout this trip. Last summer & every time I go abroad, it really opens my eyes & inspires me to write. I am so excited for the food, culture, language, music, flamenco dancing, & more. Thanks for reading (‘:

Saludos,

hailey

Stomp Down 2018

This year I attended Stomp Down, an annual step & strolling show put on by BSA, NPHC, and a couple other sponsors. A couple of universities travel to OU to compete with groups from our school, and the grand prize was $3000 , wow. I attended one event on slam poetry last year by BSA and absolutely loved it, so I was so excited to be able to attend this event this past weekend.

When we sat down around 7, groups from National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) got up in their jackets and letters and began strolling and dancing. It was so fun watching them, because their dances are all so intricate and have so much meaning behind them. The music and energy made me want to get up and dance so bad, but a couple months ago I attended another step & stroll show, and I learned that imitating the dances, or walking in between the stroll lines is considered very disrespectful. That being said, watching was all we could do, but I absolutely loved it. Here at OU, I am on Panhellenic Exec, and I am in a Panhellenic sorority, and our traditions are totally different from NPHC. Sometimes I wish we had more cultural things like they do, but it isn’t really comparable in Panhellenic sororities. Strolling dates all the way back to times of slavery, when Africans would dance in a circle to show unity and strength. Stepping on the other hand began during the late 1900’s, when the first show began at Howard University.

Since then, it has broken out all over the U.S in National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities and fraternities. As they strolled around the room, you could feel the sisterhood and brotherhood they had with their groups. It was honestly amazing, and you could really tell that this is so much more than just a social organization.

At Stomp Down, there were 5 performances, however, my favorite one was probably the last one because it was a probate as well. A probate is when they introduce the new members to the campus. Probates are public, so anyone can go, but they are a very important step in NPHC fraternities and sororities. The newest members wear masks and they have to present the history, and reveal themselves to the crowd, and they often have to step or stroll as well. In this probate, the three new members had a mask, and a military looking outfit on. When they presented themselves, they repeated all there history, then they had the mask ripped off them, as well as their shirt, and then they sang, and did a stroll, along with some stepping. As they were revealed, the audience went wild. The energy of this whole experience is honestly inexplicable.

I loved going to Stop Down this year, and it will be one experience that I will definitely remember in detail, because it is so different from what I am used to. I love going to things like this because it is so amazing to learn about others cultures, and traditions. Not only do you learn, but you really gain a greater appreciation and understanding. I cannot wait until the next stomp down next year.

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