Here is a thoughtful guest post from a college student, Tess, in Los Angeles, plus some beautiful sunrise skies:
Friday, January 7, 2010
Los Angeles, CA
At 5:30am on Friday, I hit the road for Phelan, a small town in the High Desert of Southern California. I spent this last weekend of my winter break at a leadership training conference for the California Association of Student Councils (CASC), a non-profit student leadership organization that I had donated many hours to throughout high school. The conference, called Advanced Skills Training, teaches selected volunteers how to coach the student counselors who make up the bulk of the organization. CASC’s guiding principle is peer-to-peer training, and in its leadership programs and camps throughout the year, the organization uses trained high school students to facilitate discussions and learn in small groups made up of their peers. On Friday, I was on my way to becoming a “gamma,” CASC’s quirky name for the trainers of its student counselors.
I hadn’t been involved in CASC at all since I began college. Studying on the east coast made it difficult to return to California for conferences during the year, and my travels abroad took me away for the summers. It was – and still is – odd to me that I chose to reengage with this part of my past as I begin to look ever more intently towards my future. As I begin my final semester of college, thoughts about the once elusive concept of “life-after-Yale” loom large. While I haven’t settled on a path just yet, I surprised myself by looking to my pre-college experiences for guidance.
The three days I spent reconnecting with the organization were a reminder of the fun times and experiences that I had had with the same people not too long ago. During the training, we even learned several new skills that I think will help me succeed in the coming months as I begin this next chapter.
No matter how you cut it, life always manages to come full circle.