These past two weeks have given me insight into the person I want to be and the type of individual I want to live as. I consider one is the practical "I can be this type of human" and the other is idealist; factoring in all the bests, greatest, and mosts of my life into this transformative magic being. I recognize...fully--believe it or not, that I may not EVER get to that idealist point.
Brown has taught me so much. It taught me to not second-guess my ability to be a good supervisor. I was scared to the core that I was going to single-handedly send these lovely humans on a one-way trip to a deserted island off the Arctic Sea. So far, I have managed not to do that, but after having hours of conversations with them, they renewed me in a faith that I constantly find myself losing. I am hoping that this means it is here to stay for a while...I hope.
It also taught me that I should be prepared for some really weird requests and questions by seemingly normal parents. The culture shock parents experience when bringing their children here is real. Some of my peers find it annoying, but to me, I think it is cute and familiar. The families of these children are going on this journey too. Aside from the inherent financial cost, they are allowing and enabling their children to be independent from them for an extended period of time. Do some parents stay in the area and take a little vacation? Sure, but they are still putting themselves out there. The only thing better than seeing a student have a good time is when a parent realizes that their child is left in good and capable hands.
So even though the conversations of 'Becky and Jesse going to The Ratty together and not telling Kim that they were going' can get old really quick, what never fails to amaze me is when a student going through this program comes to this massive self-revelation about themselves. Identity development is real everyone, and college is one of the prime locations to do it. It makes me happy for those who are figuring themselves out, and anxious yet excited for those who are still navigating their course. Everyone is at a different stage here. Different ages. Different races. Different languages. Different countries. The uniqueness of this program is the fact that everyone here is so uniquely different that the diversity is a unifying factor. Sometimes the best part of my job is watching these students have that "aha" moment. Especially when they realize that the toaster can be turned up higher. Lots of those moments.
The work may get hard. The questions might pile up. Sometimes you may just want to take a nap and wake up the next day. Even through it all, the sight of happy students going through life being given the ability and independence to be their own is a great sight to see. Always.