Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's Not Good-bye It's See You Later

This morning I woke up and I looked around the room which I had begun to call 'home' for the last two weeks. There was a battle raging on inside of my head accompanied by  mixed emotions swirling around throughout my heart. I am excited to return home and get back to my normal life, but on the other hand this has become my normal life. In a strange way I feel like I’m leaving a new house just when I started to get settled in. I finally know where I’m going in the mornings and I almost wish that I would have had a few more days here. I feel optimistic about my future and I plan on working harder than I ever  have  in my life.
Waiting with my friends until the last community meeting begins
This was the least challenging and most terrifying day of class that I've experienced thus far. Today we practiced presenting our Action Plans in front of the class and received feedback on what we could improve on. I think that my practice presentation went fairly well, but I hope that I look more prepared when I actually present tomorrow afternoon. 

After class, one of the last things that we were required to do was attend our last community meeting.
Listening to our Leader Fellows give their final speeches
The women who live on my floor, my RA, and I broke out into a separate group from the rest of the students in the Leadership Institute.
Good-bye Leader Fellows
We went around the table and shared some of the memories that we will take back home with us. I talked about the first time I met my roommate, Mandy, who is from China which made me question if our cultural differences would affect the way we interacted with one another. I honestly can say that she is one of the funniest people that I have ever met in my life and she is also sweet, energetic, and an all-around pleasure to be in the presence of.  I will miss Mandy especially since we lived together for such a large amount of time.

Life as I have come to know it will never be the same again. As I type the blog I can even feel a small lump in my throat, because this is a bittersweet ending to a long therapeutic journey. When I first arrived at Brown University I was excited, but really nervous to meet my classmates, because I thought that they would be judgmental rich kids who never had to work hard for anything. I was completely wrong and I got to see life from their prospective of always feeling guilty for having as much money as they do while their friends don’t. They were really nice and appreciated that they were fortunate enough to have a lot of money. I learned that I should open up to people more and give them the benefit of the doubt. I assume that people will treat me a certain way and I put up barriers to protect myself. However, the women that I have met here have been like sisters to me and we always tried to motivate one another when we were struggling. I know that I have learned more ways of effectively communicating with people when I feel a certain way and when I return to California I will be a better person.

One things that I wish that I would have done was explore the campus a bit more, because I feel like I could have made more friends and had more fun. I think that I was so consumed with trying to do my work that I cheated myself out of completely experiencing what it is like to be a college student. I wish that I would have done things differently, but I do not regret the reasons why sometimes I stayed in my dorm instead of going out. I will never stop being a hard worker, because it provides me with wonderful opportunities such as being a part of the Ivy League Connection. It is important to remember that if I did go out and party all the time that I would not be inside studying which means that I would not be able to maintain my high GPA.  I feel confident in stating that I found myself while I attended the Women and Leadership program. Before I attended the Women and Leadership program I noticed certain situations occurring in my community that I did not approve of, but I did not have the vocabulary that I’ve obtained while studying at Brown University to articulate my concerns effectively.

I am proud of myself for making it this far, because a few years ago I would have never imagined myself studying at Brown University. The fact that I was strong enough to get on a plane for the first time in my entire life and fly across the country is a testimony of my strength and ability to endure anything. The longest amount of time that I have ever been away from my family has been two days and I was only a couple of hours away. I really took a chance when I applied for the ILC and I am happy that I found people who believe that I am capable of achieving all of my life goals. I am thankful to Don, Mr. Ramsey, and Mrs. Kronenberg for giving me this opportunity.  I once read  “When opportunity knocks, some people answer the door ~ others just complain about the noise.”  I know that I can finally say that I am ready to rip the door off the hinges, because I am a fearless young woman with a lot of ambition who is willing to work hard in order to change my community and myself for the better. 
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