Becoming an OU cousin was both an exciting and anxious experience. My OU cousin was assigned to me, so I knew nothing about her initially. I had to text her and get her information and it turns out she was a junior education major from South Korea. Her name was Jeemin and it was a bit nervous having to meet for the first time because I did not know what to expect, but I am sure she was in the same predicament.
We first met for coffee and tea at Starbucks and talked about what seemed like everything. I have always been very interested in seeing and understanding how other places run their education system, so we had a long conversation on that topic. When I brought up that I played volleyball in high school, I asked if she played sports in high school. She replied with “I never had time between my academics.” This was somewhat shocking to me, but she further explained how getting into college in South Korea was much more difficult than in America. A significant amount of time was spent preparing for their college entrance exam, which did not allow time for many extracurriculars. She did however mention that while being accepted into college was hard and stressful, university itself was not all too difficult as it would seem. I was even more amazed when she told me that her study abroad experience at OU has been far easier than her time in high school.
This hour and half encounter made me realize how very grateful I am that OU has such a wonderful program connecting international students and American student together. I always thought that you learn the most through other people, and learning about another culture is always done best by either experiencing it or have first hand conversations. This leads me to reference a quote that I recall when meeting new people or encountering new experiences. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” – Bill Nye. Both humbling and inspiring, I recall these words when I need to be reminded not to pass silly judgements and that anyone you meet can be a learning opportunity if you let it be.