Although often regarded as a cliché saying, another lesson I learned this summer was to expect the unexpected. Before arriving in Detroit, the city I had pictured myself flying into was extremely different from the city I currently am writing this blog in. During my time here, I have undoubtedly developed a connection to the city of Detroit—from the numerous times we have taken advantage of the city’s recently added bike lanes on MoGo bikes to countless rides on the QLine, it is evident that Detroit is a practical city with an undeniable charm. Furthermore, the people of Detroit hold an immense amount of pride and love for their city and the changes that it has undergone. From clothing shop workers to restaurant owners, city pride flows through Detroit.
The third takeaway I have had from this summer happens to be more work-oriented—I learned the importance of creating structure. Before beginning our projects, we were instructed to create a timeline and a plan for our time this summer. These resources that we created have proven themselves to be extremely useful. If I ever felt like I lacked direction in my next steps or was unclear whether I was on track, I was able to refer back to these resources. Thus, when given a large project, I can easily recognize the utility of breaking the project down into smaller pieces and creating deliverables and outcomes for each of those smaller pieces. With this, it is easier to create a structured schedule that will keep you on track.
These three lessons are by no means the only ones that I have learned during my time in Detroit—I have grown as both a learner and a human in so many different ways. I am indebtedly grateful for this experience and thank Duke Engage, Katherine, Matt, and Madeline for such an incredible time in this city.