"Do not let your fire go out, sparked by the irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists...it is real...it is possible...it's yours."
"People of color have to learn white culture for survival. White people learn brown and black culture for ‘ghetto’ jokes."
One of the things that I’ve learned as a leader and as a student in a designing campaign class is that it is always best evaluate and reflect on your work to see if there was anything you could have done differently or better. I feel like that sort evaluation is fitting now since my junior year in college has just come to a close.
Last spring semester (2013), I applied to two study abroad programs: Ireland and Hawaii. Fortunately, I was accepted into both. However, something didn’t seem right about me going to Ireland next spring semester. It was hard to decide considering that in my school, most people apply to go abroad and then follow through. But that feeling wouldn’t go away and so I rejected the acceptance to the Ireland program. I felt like I could do more if I stayed at my school for my entire junior year and I do believe that I have made the right decision.
Even though people laugh and proclaim that going to Hawaii isn’t really “going abroad,” I must say that I disagree. I still got the abroad experience by going to Hawaii because I got to experience a place I never been to and in a more academic and education way. I went to complete my science requirement and it was a 3 week program during the summer. Honestly, I am so glad that I went. Yes, maybe I didn’t fly out of the country or continent but tell me how immersing yourself in a whole new environment, in a culture and language you don’t understand, is not a study abroad experience. I snorkeled everyday from 8am- 2pm and got to experience the power of the ocean and observe the interactions of fish and other sea creatures. We swam with dolphins multiple times, not because we were on a tourist boat that promised us we could swim with dolphins but because the dolphins felt safe enough in the area to approach us. We also swam with curious turtles and made eye contact with saw moray eels, octopi, and humuhumunukunukuapua’as (bonus points if you know what type of fish this is). We even went to one of the most protected areas in the country where the only ways to access it is by paying $300 to come in by boat or by hiking down to the area. It was absolutely beautiful, seeing a mostly untouched place where all sea creatures lived without fear and in peace. So, I do not regret studying abroad in Hawaii at all.
Junior year has been a struggle, just like every year before then and most likely every year after. However, because I chose to stay at school this semester, I got to experience things that I might not have been able to if I was out of the country.
I was able to:
I guess what I’m trying to say is that don’t let other people’s opinions affect your decisions. For me, I knew the better decision was to attend the Hawaii program and reject the Ireland program while for others, the better decision could have been to attend both programs or reject both programs. It’s your life so you get to choose what you want to do and who you want to be. I do believe that I could have had a much easier semester if I went abroad but I think the amount of fun would have been the same, regardless of where I ended up going. There is no right or wrong choices in life- only different choices that lead to different paths. I’ve always been awful at conclusions but hopefully you understand what I mean. Have a lovely summer and remember to enjoy the free time you have.
"Not being able to wear leggings because it’s ‘too distracting for boys’ is giving us the impression we should be guilty for what guys do."
"When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them."