While I was definitely already appreciative of the following things, participating in a program like this makes the appreciation even stronger. As I come home next week, these are a few of the things I am cherishing a little more than before (this list could actually be much more extensive but I’m going with my Top 5).
#1. Parents who raised me to be flexible and enjoy life no matter the situation. I’m human, so naturally I complain sometimes. Sometimes I am probably to flexible and it makes it frustrating for people to make decisions because I have trouble expressing my opinions. However when in a large group of people or a tough situation, being flexible helped me to have a more enjoyable time.
#2 Agriculture: I have had a passion for agriculture my entire life. I now have an even deeper appreciation for American agriculture and agriculture around the world. We don’t see eye to eye on many things and I don’t anticipate that we will come to an agreement anytime soon. However we all have a common goal, keeping our people fed. We can point fingers, look down upon each other, and fight about disagreements. In the end we all have flaws, we all make mistakes, and no country’s practices are perfect. That can be said about more things than just agriculture, in my opinion.
#3 Hugs: They are considered very “intimate” here and are not acceptable. Instead they do side kisses…. Makes sense? Not that I want to go hugging strangers by any means but some days having a big hug from certain people can make days a lot brighter and I look forward to returning home to those!
#4 Unlimited refills at restaurants: If I am eating at a restaurant, it means I’m on the move. When I’m on the move, naturally I get thirty. Even in McDonald’s here there is no such thing as a free refill. In some cases you can get water refilled but it never seems to be enough to quench us thirsty Americans. Also… I could really go for a Den Pop right now.
#5. Purdue University and the “Big Move Study Abroad” Scholarship: I love my university and I’ve been a Boilermaker from birth. The scholarships that they have made available for students who desire to study abroad are incredible. After talking with other participants of this summer program from around the United States it is clear, hands down (or should I say hammers down?), that Purdue has the most support. They have made a huge investment in our future by offering these scholarships and for that I am ever grateful, ever true.