Whilst a lot has changed for me, my passion for History and language has not diminished (nor has my penchant for buying books, which I am sure amuses my fellow YAs)!
This year I am entering my third year of study at Victoria University of Wellington, where I am majoring in Classical Studies, History, and Italian.
Though I have switched out studying French for Italian, I have continued my exposure to the French culture and language by attending the annual French Film Festivals, going along to events put on by Victoria’s French Society and the Alliance Française in Wellington, and I even took an elective French paper at university last year. My foundation in French has also helped my study of Italian too, as both are Romance languages and are lexically very similar.
From a very young age I have had a keen interest in History, and at 20 I am happy to say that my enthusiasm for the subject has not dwindled! As stated above I am studying History at university, and the knowledge that I gained during our trip to France and Belgium has often come in handy. Our exposure to the places where such major historical events occurred, and to the many cemeteries that are scattered throughout France, has helped to keep my study grounded.
It has acted as an important reminder that history is not just about big sweeping events and political figures, it also concerns the everyday people that on a base level are just like you and me.
Shared Histories was a major part of my final year of high school, and to this day the Young Ambassadors trip remains to be one of the best experiences of my life. It has been incredible seeing how the Shared Histories project has progressed and grown over these past three years, and it was lovely being able to see a new group of Young Ambassadors have their lives as positively impacted by their Shared Histories trip last year as my life was by ours back in 2014.
Other than the knowledge I have gained, and the amazing experiences that I have had, my greatest takeaway from Shared Histories has been the fantastic people that I have met- in particular the other Young Ambassadors.
I am so happy that we still keep in touch (and meet up when possible), and it has been very exciting getting to see what everyone has gone on to do since our trip! As cliché as it sounds, my Shared Histories experience certainly helped shape me into the person that I am today; and whilst my future looks set to include more study (as my intention is to continue on to postgrad’), I hope that it will also comprise of more memories created with the great friends who I have met through partaking in this wonderful project!