For the last few days, I just couldn’t accept that our time at Brown was coming to an end. Every time the topic of our departure was brought up I tried desperately to change the subject. Packing today forced me to recognize the fact that tomorrow I’ll be leaving. The things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met are unforgettable. Each day I become more grateful for this amazing experience.
Today in class we spent most of the time presenting our action plans in small groups. We asked one another questions and gave positive feedback. While I was presenting, I noticed that I used a lot of verbal non-fluencies, so I’ll definitely be more conscious of that during tomorrow’s presentation. In my group, each action plan seemed realistic and, if implemented, had the potential to create great positive change. Action plan topics included a mentoring program for high school freshman, a cardio tennis class, and providing locally made school lunches.
After the action plan practice presentations, we discussed our readings. My group focused on an article pertaining to the idea of a “super girl” the pressure to be perfect in today’s society. As we spoke about people who seemed perfect and we noticed that, in many cases, these people have terrible flaws. A closer look into the idea of perfection made us aware this is unachievable and that those who try to be perfect often end up very unhappy.
After lunch today we participated in a self-defense workshop. The instructor spoke to us about how the majority of self-defense is effort to avoid physically defending oneself. She recommend to always give up our valuables to someone who tries to take them. The probability that they might hurt you is too high and that resistance just increases this risk. She shared was to remove oneself from a situation before it becomes dangerous. After this, we spoke of situations where resistance just isn’t an option. We practiced a defensive stance where our feet are planted shoulder with apart and our hands are ready to react. We first focused on blocking motions and the instructor brought our pads for us to practice with. Next we learned about sensitive areas where contact is most effective. Learning defense techniques in a safe space was both effective and fun. I now feel much more confident in my ability to defend myself in the real world.
The self-defense workshop today is just another concrete example of how what I have learned at Brown has contributed to my overall confidence as a person. Before this program, I was terrified of even the idea of being a leader. I can honestly say that I consider myself a leader and that I am much more confident in my actions. Summer@Brown hasn’t just provided me with two amazing weeks, it has also provided me with the tools necessary to really go out and make a change in the world. As sad as I am to leave, I’m even more excited to come home and make real difference in my community.