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December 9, 2012

End of the Semester Blues: The Things That Connect Us

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There are two things that can instantly turn my mood around; negative people and a gloomy day. Although I love snowboarding, ice skating, sledding, and other winter related activities, the grey weather always seems to affect me. This time last year I was anxious to finish up papers and exams so I could head back to my quaint hometown in upstate New York. But now as I push through finals week, I am secretly hoping that it doesn’t go by me too quickly. The winter weather has got me a little down, but so has the reality that I will not be returning to Clark next semester. This semester has been the best time I have ever had at Clark. In summation:

-I was a transfer student Peer Adviser and made some of the most amazing friendships in the process

-I lived with some my best friends and probably had a little too much fun

My roommates Rose, Jenna, Anna, and one of my future roommates Tali.

-I got accepted to my first choice study abroad program

-I survived Spanish

-I choreographed my first dance for Hip Hop Collabo

-I mended some strained relationships

-I continued efforts with ONE Campus Challenge at Clark

-I voted in my first Presidential Election

-I taught an open hip hop workshop which had a great turn out

HHC members and our guest choreographer

-I learned how to be a real person and pay bills and cook for myself

-I decided to apply for the Accelerated Master’s Program in International Development and Social Change

-I turned twenty… what?

-I accepted a internship working at a local farm this summer

-I started the beginning stages of my honor’s thesis

-I was featured as Clarkie of the Week in The Scarlet along with my fellow Hip Hop Collabo eboard members

Clarkie of the Week: Hip Hop Collabo Eboard

But most of all…I made some of the best memories with some of the best people.

With so many positive outcomes of one semester, it is no wonder I am feeling a little bummed I have to accept it’s end and say good bye to most of my friends for the next six months or so. Luckily, I do have a new adventure awaiting me in Cape Town, South Africa. Yet the unknown can also be a little unsettling. A new place, with new people, a different culture, different food, and entirely unfamiliar way of life. After a pre-departure orientation, a health and safety seminar, and a continent specific information session, I have come to the realization that I am not as prepared as I had expected. But there are some ways in which little change in necessary. Communication used to mean talking to someone face to face, writing a letter, or sending a photograph. But now the ways in which we are connected consist of phone calls, emails, skype, and various types of social media such as facebook, twitter, and instagram. While filling out a contact sheet for the study abroad office it occurred to me that although so much is changing, my mode of communication overseas will not. So in my sentimental mood, I leave you with this- there are so many wonderful people around you to connect with. It took me awhile to make true connections with people as I transferred to Clark the fall of my sophomore year, but now as I sadly put some of those relationships on hold- my one piece of advice to any incoming freshman or transfer student is go out and do it: connect.

“The universe. It is fast, and dark. And makes us wonder if we are alone. So maybe the reason why we make all of these things is to remind ourselves- that we are not.”

Our socially connected world.

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