After a long and exhausting week, it feels good to have Friday finally arrive. This day does also bring the realization that there is only one more week left before we are all on a plane heading back to California. It makes me quite sad to think about the little bit of time that I have left to continue my adventure here, but I am absolutely determined to make the most of it and enjoy every last minute of it.
My day started off with the same usual morning routine that I have grown accustomed to. When I headed out to class, the weather seemed to have taken a turn for the better as it was a lot sunnier than in days past. For the morning session, we went over Supreme Court cases that discussed racial segregation and the issues that arose from the phrase "separate but equal". I feel that every time I read a new case I am opened up to why the reasoning behind the rights that every American has. I retrospect, I have learned more in only these two weeks than I ever had my entire lifetime.
After lunch and during the evening session, we watched two movies about the supreme court and the verdicts. I found both of them to really provide me extra support and clarification for the topics I had learned this week during class.
Once class concluded, we all gathered at the usual rendezvous point and met with Ms. L. She first asked us if we enjoyed our time watching the fireworks on the Hudson. We all agreed that the experience was unlike anything we had ever seen before and was an incredibly memorable part of the trip. The next part of the meeting was the discussion over the basic details of what would be happening during this up coming week and the plan for next Saturday. As she talked, confusion began to stir in my mind. On one hand, I longed for going back home, however on the other I could hardly imagine leaving my amazing new friends and life here at Columbia. I did not know how or what to feel about the though of having to leave, but I knew that the time would eventually arrive.
Upon the conclusion of the meeting, I headed casually back to my dormitory. I had no actual plans for the evening so I therefore took advantage of the time to finish up a bit of homework and advance in my research for my essay. Later in the night, my suitemates and I gathered in the lounge area and watched a few movies while eating pizza. It was a great way to just celebrate the arrival of the weekend and be able to relax for a while.
All in all, while I may not have done much today, it was great to simply have a change of pace for a while. I can really understand now why New York is notorious for its fast-paced lifestyle, because I found myself caught in the same current. However, I felt like today I was able to be out of the fast-paced current and slow my life down so I could fully enjoy the most simplistic things. Overall I can say that I am fully becoming aware of the effects that both the ILC program and Columbia University are having on me. I am no longer as shy of a person as I used to be and my confidence when speaking to new people has gone up immensely. I have expanded my horizons and have ventured out of my comfort zone to meet new people from all over the world and each with different backgrounds. Also I am much more effective when it comes to time management. Having to balance homework, socializing and adventure have really made me more aware of the importance of setting aside time for everything I need to accomplish in one day. I feel like a new person now, one who is still developing and becoming greater. However, this change is due entirely to the ILC program who has granted me this privilege and thus allowed be to blossom into a more diverse and academically enriched person.