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  • Writer's pictureMerrah Harris, University of Central Missouri

Small Town Girl in a Big City

I recently received an opportunity to leave my small town, Slater, Missouri, to travel to San Francisco for the first time with the National Millennial and Gen Z Community (NMGZ), an organization devoted to civil discourse in our country. After experiencing one of the largest cities in the U.S., I can confidently say NMGZ allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and into a world that was entirely out of my element. A world full of culture shocks, broad diversity, and inclusive attitudes.

Feelings upon arrival:

● Anxious

● Nervous

● Overwhelmed

Feelings towards the end:

● Loved

● Safe

● Reassured

● Understood

Things I learned post-trip:

● The importance of building mental endurance

● Sometimes it takes more than being “smart” to solve a problem

● It is normal to feel lost and/or weak sometimes. What is important is how you decide to move forward

● Being uncomfortable can lead to intuition and personal growth

● There is always more than one right answer

● There sure are a lot more people on this earth than I thought!

Through this organization, I learned that you will form strong relationships and bonds with fellow members from across the country, find creative ways to overcome your challenges, and be a part of a larger national community. I truly believe each person on this trip, including myself, faced various challenges, but in the end, we were able to overcome them collectively as a community. There is always someone to guide you through the emotional journey (and surprises) that these trips tend to bring.

Graciously, NMGZ allowed its members to experience the joys of what it is like to be heard and accepted, and walk away with whole new perspectives.


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