Never Leaving London by Lauren Captain (Paper 4) 


Paper 4

Before starting off, I have to thank all the wonderful people who I have met on this five week trip abroad. It’s truly unbelievable how quickly you can get close to someone when you are put in a new situation and you have to figure it out together. I can honestly say that the 21 other people on this trip are all completely different from each other in unique and amazing ways and it makes up a little new family. A family that I will never forget with the times that are worthwhile. There is not one thing I would do differently on this trip, not even having my computer being stolen! 
Not only do I have to thank the people on this unique adventure abroad, but also my parents who I miss so much and Michigan State University. To my parents: thank you to the moon and back for being able to provide me with this trip. I am so incredibly grateful and fortunate that you were able to let me go on this five week trip. I can only hope to let my future children experience opportunities such as this one and more. This comes from the very bottom of my heart and I don’t know how I can ever repay you (maybe a souvenir!) To Michigan State University: thank you too, from the bottom of my heart, to allow students from all over the world travel all over the world too! This learning opportunity was much more than I ever imagined it to be. Learning outside of the classroom in real life situations is so beneficial to understanding the material that needs to be embedded in your brain. This will help me in the future with other opportunities and situations I will be in someday. This trip alone sets me a part from other future real life workers. Though this was a trip, it was reality. Trying to figure out new cities, everyday situations of a new environment, and generally being an adult in a foreign country. So I thank my fellow students, my wonderful loving parents and of course, my university I attend. 
That being said, ending these past five weeks in London was the right way to do it. It is safe to say that this city is my home away from home and hopefully future home as well. This city has taught me more about myself than I could ever imagine. Living here for a month was too short, don’t worry I’ll be back for you London someday soon.
While obviously this being a study abroad trip, I have learned a lot, inside and outside the classroom. Having it specifically focus on mass media made it really easy to apply what we were learning during class in the real world around us. Mass media is almost everything that you can think of. The reason we know what is going on in the world is due to the mass media provided to us. Many people have bad opinions on the media and how it portrays situations on a biased opinion, but that isn’t always it. When I think of mass media throughout the world my mind instantly goes towards popular culture and how it connects people. I really noticed that popular culture and the mass media for it is portrayed. This may be because I am a journalism major and I would love to work for an online magazine someday. But I love to know what is going on in the environment around me.
The app, Snapchat, for the iPhone has really blown up the past two years. It’s an app that allows you to send a picture for a certain amount of time to your friends and then the picture will be gone forever, and only you to see if you save the picture. You can also do videos. On Snapchat you can have a story that is up for 24 hours, unless you delete it before it. It allows all of your friends to see the story. Being a big snapchat advocate and obsessing over making new stories each day, I couldn’t wait to show my Snapchat friends what I was doing in London for them all to see, as lame as that sounds. 
Also on Snapchat there are different “filters” you can skew your pictures with. The filters consist of different contrasts, the time, or the newly geotags. These are my favorite. In most places, especially large and known areas, a geotag will pop up with what area you are in so you can let people know. Along with that, there is a Snapchat live story for the world to see! It’s actually incredible. Everyday there’s a new city for you to see from other people’s snapchats in that area. As stupid as this app may sound to someone who doesn’t know what it is, it’s amazing to see what’s going on in the world and sometimes the completely other side of the world. Also with big events in the world, snapchat has a snapchat live story for that as well. It’s a good way to advertise their brand to promote for the following year or whenever they hold their next event.
I apply this idea of snapchat to mass media and what we learned because of simply the communication between sources. The London snapchat live story that was updated everyday let me know of cool and interesting places I wanted to go to and I would follow up on those plans. Since I was in London, the live snapchat story would be there everyday. My goal for this trip while in London was to try to have a cool enough snapchat story so I could potentially make the London Live Snapchat story. You would have over a million plus views on your snapchat story. 
It’s crazy to think what the world has come to and how we can all be connected though one single application on social media. It shows the world is all alike in some way by being interested in the latest news going on around the world. The Queen of England even made it onto the London Live Snapchat story through people video tapping her! I found out it was her birthday one day we were here from the snapchat story. 
I will miss seeing what London has to offer each day; the melting pot of the world. Now it’s back to America and my own real reality of working for the rest of the summer and spending time with the other people I love so much.
Thank you London for the trip of a lifetime! You aren’t getting rid of me just yet- I’ll be back. 

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