4 Things I Learned Studying Abroad In Morocco

4 Things I Learned In My Second Week Abroad In  Morocco

Khaki, beets, and snails! Oh my!

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My first week abroad was equally exhausting as it was spectacular. Now in my second week, I am learning even more and still eating more bread than I ever have before in my life.

I have learned about 20 new words and phrases including the most important, like how to say "he is crazy," call for help from my host family mom, and the word for "idiot."

As I settle into my new city, I learn more and more every waking moment.

1. Leggings aren't real pants.

Addie Huthwaite

Before coming to Morocco, I thought I dressed modestly and was always covered and wearing loose clothes. I have also never worn pajama pants in my life because I always just wear leggings.

I have now been reminded that leggings aren't actually pants and should be worn underneath real pants or covered by a long top. It was an easy fix that honestly I appreciated because it gave me an excuse to go shopping! My wallet is in trouble because modest clothing lines in Morocco have modest clothes (crazy right?).

2. Khaki, Beets, and Snails, Oh My!

So, I absolutely love beets! Yes, they taste like dirt but so, so, so good. My first time to Morocco, I ate all the beets offered to me.

Well, my host family mom and sister knew I loved beets and so, the next thing I know, they brought me a... BEET SMOOTHIE!

It was so good that I have had at least 3 more in just 2 days. I have also tried new fruits I have never heard of like Khaki and eaten snails on the side of the road. I always say I will try anything once, and Morocco has not disappointed me.

3. Religion!

Addie Huthwaite

My goal of writing and videoing my trip is to show people that Morocco is a safe country and that not all Muslims are terrorists. So, the topic of religion is something I am always noticing and thinking about.

I learned that wearing a turban is not the same as wearing a Hijab because it shows your neck. I watched my host family pray for the first time and it was so interesting to be a part of that moment. One of my goals will be to go to the Mosque with them at some point during my trip.

I have had a million questions about what is okay and not okay when it comes to Islam and I am trying to learn as much as I can because if I am going to stand up for Islam, I need to understand as much as I can.

4. Eat that piece of cake.

In the US, I always felt I was slightly curvier or bigger than other friends and idols I had. I always felt a bit uncomfortable in my own body unless I was covered in loose clothes.

When visiting the Hammam (the public bathhouse), I noticed women in Morocco are all of different shapes and sizes and that I didn't stand out or feel judged at all.

I think in the US, we subconsciously have this idea that we need this exaggerated hourglass figure to be beautiful, and no matter how many times someone says "beauty is on the inside," we still feel like we don't fit.

In Morocco, they couldn't care less about what brands I am wearing, what size I am, if I am wearing makeup, or if I want to wear my pajamas out to dinner. I have learned that I should eat that piece of cake with no regrets, then throw on a huge sweater and hijab and go live my best life.


I am so excited to learn more of the language, culture, and religion of Morocco and I just wish that I could bring everyone to this beautiful country to experience what I am living right now. I am living in a dream and I wish I never had to wake up.

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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

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To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.

Sincerely,

The nursing student with just one year left.

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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