Sunday, August 13, 2017

Memories For a Lifetime

Sunny days
It has been 4 days since my return, and yet that feeling of nostalgia is still weighing me down. Who ever thought that two weeks could literally change your life? I, for one, did not believe that; however the Brown Leadership Institute continued to change my views. It continued to show me that as a matter of fact, two weeks can change your life.
My favorite intersection

We checked in Saturday night, earlier than everyone else. I remember only seeing about two other people in all of Perkins. If I were to be a honest, it was a bit terrifying. I was miles away from home, in a partially empty building. I had only one other person on my floor and it was almost midnight. That night I felt incredibly home sick, I told myself I would be miserable there. Little did I know what lay ahead.

The next day started off on a much better foot, and the days continued to look up. The first day of class I walked in slightly unsure and a bit reserved. By the end of that first day, my spirits had changed. I revealed to a complete stranger parts of myself that not even my closest friends know about me. I was posed with questions that on a day to day basis, I rarely think about. If there was one thing everyone in that class had in common, it was our passion for the subject. Regardless of our backgrounds, we all were in that room with a common purpose, and that is exactly what brought us all so close together.
I would never have thought I could become so close to so many people in such a short amount of time. All of the people I met inspired me in some shape or form. I felt genuine happiness being surrounded by so many amazing people, which definitely made the goodbyes all the more difficult.

Each and every day I was able to wake up to my friends, share meals with people from around the world, and have conversations that will forever remain invaluable to my heart. Inside and outside the classroom, I cherished every moment. I learned so much from the people around me, it just proved to show that learning is never exclusive only to the classroom.

Mary Grace
The classroom however, did teach me a lot. It taught me about issues that I would rarely think about. It taught me to be conscious of myself, as well as others. It taught me privilege is not a bad thing. It taught me to be comfortable in my own skin. It taught me that it is okay to take care of yourself. It taught me things about myself not even I was aware about. It was an entirely different environment than what I was used to. There were no standards, there was no right or wrong, and most importantly, there was no fear of judgment. High school has drained parts of me that this class managed to bring back, and for that I am eternally grateful. Just these two weeks have allowed me to grow more than my last two years in high school ever have.

The trip was not all smiles, it definitely had its ups and downs, but I am grateful for it all. Each and every moment contributed to me being able to call this a life changing experience. It was definitely a high for me, and it was a break from the routine life I had become accustomed to. Change is something I typically feared, but I have now learned to embrace it. I would wake up each day not knowing what to expect, and instead of being uncomfortable with that idea, I pushed myself to make the most of it. Being away from home, on the other side of the country, has taught me incredibly valuable lessons and has left me with irreplaceable memories. Even a week later, here I am, still wishing I could go back.
I miss them all

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