Sunday, August 9, 2015

Reflecting on the Past, Eyes on the Future

I learned more from the ILC than I have in a long time. It started at the very beginning, the interview taught me how to present myself in the best way, be articulate and concise, express my thoughts, and communicate effectively with adults. All of this will be incredibly valuable when I am interviewing for college and future jobs. Through the dinner I got to speak with people at the top of their fields, adults who wanted to know what I thought and were interested in my opinions.

I don't even want to imagine my summer if I was not able to be part of the ILC, because I know it would be the opposite of productive. My experiences this summer have given me determination and energy. They have made me want to go out and do something, and most of all they have made me a more positive and optimistic person. I don't feel constantly angry at the world, instead I am prompted to go out and try to change it. I have learned so much from my peers in particular, their determination and passion are what motivate me more than anything.

I have learned that if I put a lot of effort into something I will get results. The ILC has given me a reason to try, and for the first time in a long time I am excited to go back to school and share my experiences with others. The whole point of this program is that we better not only ourselves, but our communities with our new-found knowledge. The college tours helped my in finding out what I am looking for in an institution and how much the location of it actually matters to me. I have a better grasp on what college life is really like and how much it differs from high school.

I have pushed myself and realized maybe my comfort zone was not as narrow as I had previously thought. Volunteering to speak at the Brown dinner was something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing a year ago let alone sharing my poetry with a group of mostly strangers. I have realized because of these opportunities and our action plan presentations that I actually like public speaking. I am going to join my school's Speech and Debate team this year because of this.

Coming back home has proven to be challenging, after being surrounded by the incredible women in my class for two weeks I almost forgot that wasn't how everyone was. I am going to miss that more than anything. It gives me a lot of pride in my generation.

I don't think I will ever be able to not compare any future class to Women and Leadership, and I'm not sure any class will be able to measure up to it. 

If I have learned anything it is that I am capable of anything I put my mind to, regardless of my age or gender. I am more confident than ever in my identity and feminism. I still have another two years of high school left before going of to college, and I am sure not going to let them go to waste.

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