(Originally published: 4/25/12)
The day I leave for London is hastily approaching and my final semester as an undergraduate in Kent is simultaneously coming to an end. I can no longer hide my ascending anxiety and overall excitement associated with my first international travel experience. Thankfully, my family, friends, and Global Ad and PR class have helped me a great deal along the way.
I’ve learned multiple things about my area of expertise, our geographical neighbor across the Atlantic (AKA London), and my professional and personal self.
Area of Expertise
I don’t want to reiterate everything that I had previously mentioned in my last post, but I’d like to touch base on some key findings and inspirational quotes I extracted from my interviews and secondary research.
- In the beginning of my research, I assumed that there was only one — maybe two — overarching stereotypes that society associates with cyclists. Bill Nesper, VP of the League of American Bicyclists informed me that there are plenty of pervasive, negative stereotypes associated with cycling, whether they’re part of the fat cat bourgeoisie or a just a pretentious hipster weaving through traffic.
- Women cyclists are a pivotal part of cycling progression. Research has shown that women are considered an “indicator species” for bike friendly cities.
- Kevin Fowler, co-founder of Portage Cyclery, was kind enough to elaborate on how rediscovering the joys of riding a bicycle was for him:
“I encourage everyone to slow down and realize [that] what doesn’t get done today will still be there tomorrow. Enjoy life, take a bike ride and let go of [the] high-stress life. I can assure everyone that it’s much better to enjoy life because we aren’t going to get out of it alive!”
I have learned a plethora of random facts about London’s history and architecture through my peers’ presentations as well as my own research.
- London is home to the British Music Experience, Britain’s only interactive museum of popular music. There are plenty of things to see, do and experience at the British Music Experience, including The Finale, the “thrilling 5 minute visual and sonic montage of life-size-scenes from the best concerts and acts from the last 60 years.”
- When conducting our research on Muswell Hill’s history, my partner Devin and I discovered that even in a quaint, tastefully hilly suburb with clear, captivating views of London, people can still find ways to ruin the experience for everybody else. Meet Dennis Nilson.
- My partner Carla and I unearthed many great things that Hyde Park has to offer. My favorite historical fact was that, towards the end of the 17th century, King William III found his walk home was a bit dangerous and installed 300 oil lamps along his frequented path. Long story short, he successfully created England’s first artificially lit highway.
Self-improvement is consistently in the back of my head. People often refer to a person changing in a negative manner, but that doesn’t always have to be the case.
I honestly believe that the Global Ad and PR class has aided me in becoming a better student, maintaining a professional, goal-oriented mindset, and discovering how I intend on using my degree to fulfill my dreams.
I prophesy that I will return from London a more experienced, informed, and cultured young man, ready to take on the world.