It was the end of classes yesterday, and in a short week and a half (after finals) my freshman year will be over. I debated for a while whether I should write a sappy reflection on my year, or stay positive and upbeat about what’s to come for me at JHU. I’ve decided to take the middle road by discussing my exciting summer and how what I’ve learned this year will affect it.
Experiential Education. What a strange phrase! Part of me thinks, isn’t all education experiential? But after this summer, I’m pretty sure I won’t be thinking that anymore. In the second round of interviews for a summer counselor position at Genesee Valley, an outdoor learning center 1.5 miles from my house, they asked me what I think experiential education is really about. I said it is learning about yourself in combination with others through group activities and challenges (which are usually outdoors). I’m excited to see whether my opinion of this changes over the next few months.
To start out my summer, I will be going on a ten day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail for HOLT (Hopkins Outdoor Leadership Training). If you’ve been following my blogs, you know I’m part of Outdoor Pursuits as a hiking leader, and part of being a leader is to go on this trip preferably at the end of your freshman year. I’m not going to lie– I’m really nervous. I don’t think I’ve ever not showered or not been in contact with my family and friends for ten days in a row, so it will be a challenge. At the same time, something tells me that I will really appreciate this trip for my own personal growth. Ringing any bells? :)
When I get back, I’ll have a few days off before starting my training as a summer camp counselor for Genesee Valley. I’m so psyched to have gotten this position! I used to be a camper at the Valley and always thought the counselors were amazingly cool. It’ll be fun to work with those kids and be outside all day, not to mention I can run or bike to work every morning.
Finally, I’ll end the summer by leading a pre-orientation trip for the class of 2016! I have no doubt I will love getting to know the incoming freshman while enjoying the last few weeks of summer.
As you can see, I will essentially be outdoors for the next three months! And what does this have to do with my freshman year at JHU? Well, this past year has opened my eyes to many things that make me happy. For example, I love getting to know new people and pushing my limits (I learned this through the many great students already at JHU, and the fact that I worked really hard in my academics this past semester). I also love training my body by exercising (I learned this from the past few weeks before finals, where my exercise and diet have kept me calm in the face of a heavy academic load). In lieu of this, I have decided to train for the Baltimore Marathon during the summer. (It’s October 13 2012, so come cheer me on!) This summer will be fantastic in so many ways, and I can’t wait to see how far I can push myself and what I will learn.
In conclusion, thanks to JHU for a great freshman year, and thanks to Hopkins Interactive for giving me the opportunity to chronicle it! Be sure to check out my blog next year, where I will talk about my adventures as a sophomore. (Literally meaning, “wise fool.”) I can’t wait to see how wise and foolish I will be! Have a great summer everyone!