11 September 2009

Back For the First Time

It's been a while since I've posted... For the past month or so I have been involved in all sorts of new things on Colby College campus-- things I wouldn't normally try to do on my own ambition. The feeling is bittersweet, however. While I am glad to have met some pretty kickass people, I don't think I could ever go through it again. I don't regret my experience, however. I actually learned a considerable amount and picked up some valuable skills that I'll keep with me for the rest of my life.

In the past month I have earned CPR and Wilderness First Aid certificates, hiked the one of the highest mountains on the east coast, been photographed completely naked at the top of one of the highest mountains on the east coast, survived in the wilderness for a few days, connected with people I wouldn't normally connect with, led 11 first year students on an outdoor adventure, and seen the most incredible sunrise I've ever seen in my life.

Does the end justify the means? I'm not sure. Maybe? I don't know. The fact that I don't automatically say YES tells me that the last month of my life was probably the most fun I'll never want to have again. The days were long. The nights were short. The lectures were brutal. The summer camp games were corny. And, being the only person of color out of 120+ Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip leaders, it was a huge culture shock for me. I went to a New England prep school, I go to a private college in the whitest state in the United States, but this outdoors experience was a pretty huge culture shock for me. I mean here I am, a person who's into music, fashion, art, and diverse culture, sitting at a campfire listening to my peers sing a country song about a wagon wheel... GET ME OUTTA HERE!!! It was definitely moments like that that highlight cultural difference between me and 99% of the students at Colby College. I know-- I chose to go to Colby and I chose to be a outdoor trip leader, so I must bare the cross. I understand what I was bargaining for when I agreed to come up to school early to do this. It might seem like I'm complaining, but I'm not. In fact, it was something I feel like I had to do for myself-- to prove that I can do things people might not expect me to be capable of doing.

So, I guess I have a lot to be thankful for and I guess the juice was worth the squeeze in most instances, especially when I had the chance to lead the 11 first years in a wilderness trip in Acadia. That was probably the silver lining/ highlight of it all. Seeing their progression from being 11 individuals who seemingly had nothing in common with each other to becoming really close friends was a beautiful thing. For that, I think it was all worth it.

I think I have come full circle. Sitting in front of my MacBook typing all this has made me realize that it was worth it. I might even go as far as to say that it was the perfect icing on the best summer of my life. Out.

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