As I prepare myself for this new journey, I find myself getting sidetracked by my excitement for my future. My name is Makayla and I am studying abroad in London this summer. I will be starting my third year at the University of Florida starting during my summer semester and I am surprised that I am starting my third year already. My journey to studying abroad started years before I realized it. I was born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands and frequently traveled to other Caribbean countries because of my family’s origins. My aunt works for American Airlines so it was easy to travel to the United States for a short vacation. When I was seven, my mother and I moved to New York City and we lived there until I was 12.
In New York, I started to interact with people from different cultures and as I started learning more about other cultures, I knew that when I was an adult, I wanted to travel the world, or at the bare minimum Europe and Japan. When we moved to South Florida in 2011, I fell deeper into my love for anime and kpop and started to plan hypothetical trips to Japan and South Korea once I entered and graduated college. Unfortunately, I would be unable to fulfill my desire to go on these trips but I was confident with my admission to the University to Florida, I would be able to study abroad and experience the cultural immersion I sought. So the summer before I would official start attending college, I did my research. I found programs I was interested but I was convinced about one program.
Throughout high school, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to pursue. I wanted to be a full-time artist and graphic designer, but was enrolled in the pilot Biotechnology magnet program. I found genetic science interesting but my love for understanding people and psychology drove me to seek a degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or Human Resource Management. My university doesn’t have a degree program in either fields so I settled on Business Management and I absolutely love it. I like fashion and art (especially painting), so I’m quite excited to experience and partake in the differences between European and American fashion, as well as visit the many museums in London and the cities I visit in eastern Europe. I hope to make learn more about the hobbies that I enjoy, and even pick up a few new ones this summer.
As I mentioned in my pre-departure video, I want to become a florist and own my ow floral shop. Currently, I have only taken one hobbyist floral arranging class but I hope to gain more industry experience this summer by visiting local British florists, Kew Gardens, and partaking in floral shows and events such as Belgravia in Bloom and Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. I’m glad that I am able to study in London at the peak parts of the spring and summer seasons so that I am able to take note of the flourishing floral industry. As the days are counting down, I am doing my best to prepare myself to start this new journey, not only studying abroad but the start of my roaring 20’s! Until next time, let’s continue to make memories!