Jennifer A. Chin (cswallow) wrote,
Jennifer A. Chin


I can't tell you how I came here; I hardly know myself.

I think I've written more in the past five days than over almost the entire last summer. The steady march of words on the page brings me back to stability somehow, in the same way that dancing regularly keeps me calm and level-headed.

While scrawling away in my paper journal on the beach this past weekend, I gave thanks for the slow breathing of my mind, for the levelheadedness that was allowing me to consider so many aspects of life as a bschool student. It's my hope that in doing this, I will establish an unbreakable rhythm for my writing and reflecting.

Five days.

It seems that's all it takes to discover a new depth of spirit.

When I arrived at the Nicholas School last year, I remember feeling lonely and completely overwhelmed. I questioned being there, my goals, what I wanted. And because I couldn't figure out how to offer my best skills to Nicholas School projects and professors, I buried myself in my textbooks. Every week I scrambled to work myself to enough of a basic understanding of science, ecology, biology, to merely keep up with the undergraduates in some of my classes. It was never enough, I felt, and it cowed me into a bookishness that made me feel useless and small.

Somehow this week has brought me insatiable, unquenchable hunger. I am deeply in love with every class and experience at Fuqua. Courses that last year terrified me with just their names - Accounting, Managerial Economics, Probability and Statistics - I now crave. Each is a new lens through which I attempt the world, through which I might understand how people around me are connecting. No contact is enough, I am grateful for every new thought, every word, every moment.  I am utterly undiscriminating.

Yesterday, Apolo Anton Ohno told us that every champion understands what the goals are, and knows the concept of what he or she must do to reach those goals. That every morning, that person wakes up and knows that the day is going to bring them closer to those goals. Alana Nichols told us that when you find what turns you on, when you find something that makes you want to be in the world, feeling strong and powerful - that is something you must never let go of.

I don't know yet how to articulate my goals, but I know that I am enchanted by every new piece of information I receive, and that these things are bringing me closer to knowing the world. Everyone has something to teach, if I am open enough. Ohno reminded us yesterday that every time we move closer to great achievement, we increase the number of people we can impact and bring to fuller lives. It is for this that we are on this earth, that we get in there every day even when it's painful, and we become addicted to the fire and the burn and the sheer aliveness of the work we've found.

Every minute makes me feel that I never knew living before today. 
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