Sweet, Sweet Enlightenment

My last entry was written on a train from Uppsala, so to continue that trend, hello from a plane from Zurich! My Lifespan Psychology class just spent five days in Zurich, Switzerland for our Study Tour. We are all incredibly exhausted and a little sun-kissed, but very content. 

Sun-kissed and content

I began each day running beside my DIS faculty member, who eagerly pointed out the best shops, restaurants, bathhouses, and the snowy Alps. Our feet carried us up the Dolder Hills, around Lake Zurich, and through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. 

Good morning, Zurich! (Dolder Trails morning run)

As a class, we visited hospitals and learned about physiotherapy and childhood rehabilitation. We were able to talk to medical experts about their professions in both academic (classrooms) and casual settings (vegetarian buffets). We also attended presentations about improving cognitive abilities in the elderly, language acquisition, and the link between videogames and academic success. Many of my classmates felt pretty enlightened afterward and found something that resonated with their own sense of identity. 

This self-discovery process continued through meeting Swiss expats on our sunset dinner cruise. My mental horizons were stretched as I explained my views on my adoption, Trump’s presidency, my public school education, and the importance of college athletics. In return for digging deep within myself, I learned about Switzerland’s break from the European Union, the skiing conditions in the Alps, the inefficiency of the current social security system, and the best desserts in Zurich. 

Sunset boat tour with expats

I wish we had more time to lay in the sun at bathhouses, explore other ice cream flavors at Hasta (the #1 ice cream place in Zurich), and stuff ourselves with gourmet breakfast hotel food. But thankfully, I now have a brand new Swatch watch, some Lindt chocolate bars, a handful of apricots, and many, many identity-related questions to reflect on. 

In one of my journal entries, I wrote, “My sense of self is either falling apart or coming together, and I am either clarified or confused.” It’s certainly an angsty thought, but I think I’m getting somewhere. 

Hooray for growing up! 

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