Last summer, I found love and excitement amidst 90+ kids in a youth program that focused on high achieving first-generation, low income students who wanted and deserved to attend college after graduating high school. My heart’s still with the program, but this summer, I’m one of those kids…and my focus is graduate school. I was accepted as a McNair Scholar student through Claremont Graduate University, so I’ve been taking classes and preparing for my GRE for the past four weeks. I’ll be doing research on the influence of stereotype threat among African-American female college students, and I actually took the GRE this afternoon (one more thing off my plate)!
This past week had its ups and downs as I anxiously awaited another standardized test that would be influential for my future. Words that I’d never seen before, like peccadillo and burnish, were on the verbal section…and the math questions weren’t hard but DANG you’ll pick the wrong answer if you don’t pay attention! In the middle of the week, I found out that an OBSA Staff member will be leaving the school because he was accepted into graduate school. Although it made my own ambitions more of a reality, I was really shaken up that night. This graduate-school prep program has seriously made me start thinking about the next step. Where will I be two years from now? My blogging days will be over for CSO, but hopefully I’ll still be able to give back in other ways!
When I look back on my days at Pomona, I know the overall experience will have been amazing. The professors…students…classmates…I’ll never find another atmosphere where there are so many creative and brilliant personalities in one place. I’ve learned so much about myself in my time here, and truly found a direction that I’d like to head in the future. However, the years have sped by and I know the next two will be even faster; hence, one of the reasons behind my sadness over hearing that the Staff member was leaving. He’d been a part of my campus experience since I started at Pomona…and he’ll no longer be here to praise me for my grades or provide encouragement when exam times near. He reminded me that change happens, even when we aren’t ready for it. This program has made me consider my future, and acknowledge that it’s already upon me. In addition to balancing school work and personal time, I also have to maintain thinking about five years from now, while also appreciating every moment of each day.
Enjoy the people in your life and moments that you share. Never get so caught up in thoughts of tomorrow that you forget about today…but also…never feel so lost or drowned in present adversity that you lose sight of future aspirations. When things get rough, I tell myself… “This too shall pass”…and when I catch myself thinking about months and years down the line, I tell myself… “Slow down, you’ll never get to relive today.”
This summer has been a time of reflection and hard work. I’m finding out more about who I am, what I’d like to pursue in upcoming years, and how to successfully achieve those goals. Whatever you may be doing this summer…whether it’s working or relaxing or traveling all over the world…keep in mind that things are about to change very soon…school starts up in the fall, and since you can’t turn back the hands of time…make every moment worth it!
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”