Learn From Others

Who are some of the people who have made a huge impact in your life? Were they your parents? A celebrity? A stranger? How about a teacher? From grades Kindergarten through senior year of high school, we have many teachers. The older we get, the less we remember. It is those who impact our lives that we remember the most. I have had some great teachers through the years. I have also had some teachers that I thought could not stand me, but ended up being very memorable. Sometimes it is the ones that challenge you to the point of frustration from whom you learn the most.

About eight months ago, I went on a weekend trip to Rome with my roommate. She is an experienced traveler. I looked to her, and others from my program, during trips to book tickets and lodging, read a map, and plan out our trip. I was very inexperienced. Going to Spain to study abroad was my first time out of the country. I did not know a lot about how to travel wisely and I was a terrible navigator. While I was in Rome, I took a back seat as my roommate navigated for the both of us. One afternoon, she handed me the map and told me to navigate to our next destination without her help. She was going to play my part and play the role of a follower. I took the map with reluctance and frustration. Those next few moments became an exercise in patience and understanding as I was both directionally and even linguistically challenged. My roommate offered no help even though I asked her for it.  I did not want to get us lost too lost. I ended up having to ask somebody for directions, but in the end we did get to our destination.

After being really stressed out, Chrissy, my roommate, ended up explaining to me why she did what she had done. She wanted to teach me to navigate on my own because we would not always be together on trips. I did not realize it during the midst of my frustration but I ended up being very thankful that she had done that. The next semester rolled around and next thing I knew, I was in France. The funny thing was, I ended up being the one with the most traveling experience and took the lead as my friends learned from me.

Chrissy and I at the Colosseum.

Learning from others is so important. You do not have to be an official teacher for someone to learn from you. You can lead by example or you can actively teach someone, either way, I would highly recommend mentoring somebody. That way, they could look back and be thankful for what you did, even if they aren’t thankful at first.


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