Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Greatest Hits

I graduate from college on Sunday. It's hard to believe. I'm a completely different person than when I first stepped onto ONU's campus. As part of a farewell to the seniors in my sorority, the academic chair made a slide show featuring some of our most memorable moments. It was sort of a "Greatest Hits of College." When I was watching the part about me, it was interesting to think that perhaps a year ago, those would have been some of my most memorable moments as a college student, but now a year and 21,176 nautical miles later, they don't even make the top 50. I'm still processing the things that experienced and learned on Semester at Sea. I'm still understanding the ways in which I've changed and why. The ways that I've changed aren't obvious to the casual observer or casual friend. My goals in life changed, in my opinion, for the better. My political views shifted considerably. I stand up for myself more. When I returned home it was difficult to decide when to speak and when to bite my tongue, and I mostly keep my political views to myself now, unless talking with another SAS alum. I still haven't quite adjusted back to the U.S., and I'm not sure that I ever will. I have different expectations for myself than I did before I left. There is an idea that I had about my life and how it was supposed to work out in accordance with society. I realized that society's expectations are wrong for me. My life is for me to live according to my timeline, and I'm never going to settle for anything less that what I want for my life. My "Greatest Hits of College" all come from my voyage with Semester at Sea. When I graduate on Sunday completely changed from the person I was when I started at ONU, I know that it was not ONU that contributed most to the person that I am. My parents, my friends, and my Semester at Sea experiences get that credit.