Meet Katelyn! She’s an Up with People Cast Member from Canada!
Let’s See What Katelyn’s Experience in Up with People Has Been Like For Her.
Why did you decide to join Up with People?
I initially heard about Up with People through my mom and hearing stories about it growing up, because she travelled in 1989. Once I joined, it became so much more about a journey of personal growth, and I think that’s really been the main focus of me being in Up with People. Just getting all the different connections that we do with the performance, connecting with people and the cast, it’s really been great.
How does it feel being the only representative of your country and community?
It’s been really interesting actually. I was hoping to have another Canadian because I think it’s nice to have someone you can connect with, on that cultural level. It’s been fun for me to be the representative of Canada, not only because I think I’m a walking stereotype of a Canadian, but it’s been kind of a cool having a little bit of a responsibility to tell people what it’s actually like to be Canadian. For example, a lot of people think that our accent is so strong that we say “aboot” for “about”. People think that Canadiens speak in a certain way so, it’s cool to break down those stereotypes. The one disadvantage is that people who are getting their first exposure to a Canadian is through me, soI feel like the assumed stereotype sometimes.
What do you miss from your country?
I miss the culture and being in my hometown. Small things like having Poutine. It’s been fun making poutine, the traditional dish in Canada that is just fries, gravy and cheese curds, or even the maple syrup. It feels like home. I have also made Toutins which is part of the more eastern Canadian culture. Toutins is fried bread, with which you can eat Malassas and maple syrup. Another very traditional dish I have also made are Denymo bars. It is like a desert with a vanilla custard and a vanilla brownie. It’s been fun.
Do you feel that having already completed a college degree has impacted your experience, learning and growth in up with people?
Yes 100%, I think I’m able to take everything that we do in Up with People so much more calmly. I feel more grounded because I am 24. I think there’s a strength in who I am that maybe someone that’s just coming out of high school might not necessarily have yet.
What would be the passion you want to follow or a dream of yours that you want to accomplish in life?
Actually, traveling has made me realize that I am very passionate about self-care, taking care of your body, your mind and your soul. I think those are so important things, that people don’t do enough of. It’s so unfortunate because in our society people think that if you’re taking care of yourself it’s egotistical or egocentric of you, but it’s not at all. It’s okay to be selfish, because you have to take care of yourself. So, doing research in natural wellness self-care areas would be really nice. I would also love to be a psychologist, or even a professor. There are so many different routes that I want to take. So, I might do a little bit of everything, but I’ll see where it takes me.
What makes you the happiest?
When I can help others find their happiness. With my psychology degree, I’ve just learnt how to be a good friend and listener for others. Just being that shoulder that people can cry on, or a listening ear. I think some of those experiences are some of my highlights in UWP. Like going on a walk with one of my roommates or going for a little coffee date with a friend or my host families. That has been a really nice part, and I feel fulfilled when I can have that more one on one connection with people, because UWP is a huge group so it’s tough to get one on one.
What is the most positive thing about our generation?
We are a generation of young people that refuse to be ignorant to the things going on around us. We want to take a stand for what we believe in and fight for what we think is right. Being in UWP I see that so much, and it lights my own fire inside. I just look around and I see 100 really passionate excited people that want to change the world and that want to make a difference. I think that’s one of the most inspiring things for me to witness. Before joining UWP I felt that in some ways I was a bit embarrassed of my generation, because we had this reputation of being a snowflake generation. We take everything so personally, we are so sensitive, everyone has to tiptoe around everything that they say. It is such a negative idea to have for a generation. Something I’m also really big on is respect and I think sometimes I looked around and I saw a lot of disrespect, like a lot of kids not caring. When I see people in UWP, it has totally changed my view of how our generation actually is, everyone is so amazing, and they are just so excited. In that sense it’s really helped change my perspective.
Why did you choose to do a second semester?
I decided to join and do a second semester for wanting to gain personal growth. I was so happy with how last semester went, and I felt like I had made so many really great connections. It opened my mind to so many things, and I felt like I finally knew how to express my voice in the ways that I wanted to and share what I was passionate about in constructive ways. I felt that doing a second semester, would solidify all the benefits that I’ve gotten from my first semester as a person. So this was my goal.
You can stand in the back
Or you can stand on the side,
You can stand on your principles
Or stand on your pride.
But no-one’s gonna stand for long any more
If we don’t stand together.
Stand Together © Up with People
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Topics: "On The Road"
Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers young adults an unparalleled study abroad experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time. Click here to learn more about the internationally acclaimed program, Up with People.