Living in the middle of the country (at Washington University in St. Louis), it can be really easy to form a bubble around my social, economic, and political views.
Surround yourself with enough of the same type of things and people and gradually your opinion begins to consolidate.
This happens very often in communities, like colleges, where your routines are generally fixed and your life is reduced to a set amount of variables.
Bubbles are dangerous. And, as I have written about before, I think that learning how to break out of your conventional bubbles is the best way for me to become better at empathizing with people/problems, become a better learner, and more self aware.
Routines are heuristics that we used to get more things done faster. But, a symptom of a routine is that it limits your thinking and confines you to a bubble.
Spontaneity is a cure to this illness. Doing new things, and being spontaneous, helps your mind branch out and think of things differently.
For the first time in a while, I went and visited two different Universities: UPENN and Columbia.
It is really interesting seeing the pace of life at other schools. It is interesting hearing what other kids talk about. What they find interesting. What types of food they eat. What they get excited about. What they complain about.
I really liked both of the schools that I visited.
Both had a really eccentric and motivational feeling in the air that emphasized a vastly different pace of life from here in St. Louis. People were moving around. It was noisy. It was dirty.
It is very easy for me to complain about where I am now - but I know that the grass is always greener.
Anyways, it was very healthy and valuable for me to go travel and pop my bubble once again!