This trip was one that will live in my memory for a long time, if not forever. This trip gave me new friends, new experiences, but most importantly new insights on the world and myself. A trip like this isn’t offered every day, and I was very aware of that as I was going to the Big Hope 2. I was excited to be going somewhere where the discussion revolved around topics that I was interested in and passionate about, and I couldn’t wait to meet people from all over the world who thought like me and were interested in the same things as me. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I came to the Big Hope 2, but by the end of the trip, I realized it was very different from what I could have expected, in a good way.
This trip highlighted just how different we all are. Don’t get me wrong; obviously I know people are different and have different interests, but I went into this trip expecting to meet people who thought like me and had similar dreams as me. I was expecting to hear from people who went out and did exactly what I wanted to do in the future and to teach me how to get there. I realized I was expecting someone to show me how to make a difference in the world. I wanted to have a clear guideline for how to leave my mark.
What I got instead was inspiration from speakers who went out and tried something new in the fields they were interested in. I got insight into the magnitude of problems of the world, but also how everyone is interested in tackling a different problem. Today was the last day of the conference where we got to present some of the things we learned and took away from the conference and seeing the variety of topics and even ways of presenting the projects reminded me of how different we all are but how equally intelligent, creative, and passionate we are.
What I got from this conference was that we can all make our own difference in the world. No one is going to think the same way you do or be interested in the same things you are. No one has lived your life and gained the same insight you have. I always wanted to make a change, but I doubted my abilities. Who was I to make a change? The people I met, though, showed me that everyone can make a change. It is about pursuing what you are passionate about and looking for solutions based on your knowledge. It is about working with others while acknowledging your differences and using them as an advantage. You can make a change. Don’t wait for someone to tell you how or what to do. Know yourself and acknowledge where you have come from. Use that knowledge to work with other people. Make the change that only you can do in this world.
— By Monica Teuthorn