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October 24, 2013

A car, a man, a maracA.

If you had to summarize Massachusetts in one type of road design, you may choose a lot of colorful language, some strange hand gestures, and some French words I’ve always been excused after saying. But for me — I would say: Rotary.

And like Massachusetts design, my college experience has been like one as well.

I started off my college life living in a single, in a suite, with five girls.

I am ending my college life living in a single, in a suite (with a kitchen!), with five girls.

People say you can’t break your habits – and it would appear that I’m a prime example of this – but I would disagree. I would say that while my circle may look similar — instead, I’ve taken one circle to a very different circle — getting off of one rotary and going into another.

I tried to find a picture of a rotary going into another rotary. This will have to do. For the rest of my blog, pretend we've just switched from a driving metaphor to this pulley system metaphor. Please and thank you.

I tried to find a picture of a rotary going into another rotary. This will have to do. For the rest of my blog, pretend we’ve just switched from a driving metaphor to this pulley system metaphor. Please and thank you.

Habits are good. Habits give backbone. They give structure. They reduce some ambiguity of your day – the sun will rise, the sun will set. There will be coffee in my system by 9:00AM. And in that sense, college provided me that circle. My first experience was that driver – it set my life into motion. It gave me a routine. It gave me some direction. But the direction it gave me repeated quickly. Even though it was a large school, I felt smaller than ever. I was absorbed by the size and left to struggle to find my way out.

Clark is the bigger rotary. Bigger sometimes means more stressful  - There’s more space to be yourself – a big fish in a small pond – and with that, more room to grow, but more room to accept responsibilities as well. There’s more accountability, but more chances for experiences. Vermont could have given me a lot, but I do not believe it would have given me Brazil, Luxembourg, London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Santiago. Vermont did expose me to some things – but every revolution just made me realize how much more was out there. At Clark, I will have taken a total of 8 directed studies – Psychology, 1 Political Science, and 1 Philosophy. Just because I wanted to learn (and study!) more than what they offered.

Of course, I could very well change to another rotary via some other pull. But that pull only happened because of the experiences and revolutions that were already in place by the college, by the experiences. And while I may be at a new place next year, doing graduate school, Clark will always be in the background, constantly turning, being the driver for that driven experience.

This week – I met with the Senior Fund Committee and we talked about ways to fundraise. Each year, we try and get a few dollars from every (or most) seniors – and that money actually goes into a scholarship for an incoming first year. You would be surprised about how quickly five dollars adds up over time and people. And with 85% of students receiving financial aid – it’s important. And you will be sure I’ll help donate to that.

So, jump on board! Life is a big machine – each pulley directly influences the next pulley. But don’t ever think you’re in a rut – maybe it’s just time to check out where the next exit is and how to get off of it. And hey, if it takes you a few times around the circle to get to the correct exit, that’s okay too – rotaries make no sense anyway.

Come on Massachusetts. That's just asking for a crash.

Come on Massachusetts. That’s just asking for a crash.

Pulley pic found here

Newton, MA google maps pic found here

 

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