As each day goes by I am one day closer to walking across the stage and take the last few steps as an undergraduate collegiate. With all these senior events I have been attending lately I have had a lot of time to think about what the past four years has meant to me. In the past few weeks I have attended USF’s Celebration of Leadership Awards, the Senior Leaders Academy, The Greek Awards, and my sorority’s “Senior Sendoff.” These have been weeks full of praise, encouragement for our futures, and a time to look back at our memories from the past few years.
My college education means everything to me. Never before have I felt so connected to a school, to it’s faculty, or to it’s students. I have learned so much both inside and outside of the classroom. Invaluable lessons and experiences that I will carry with me throughout my career and my life. Every part of my undergraduate education is exponentially worth more than the costs I actually incurred.
As I look forward to my bright future, and reflect back to how I came to this point I am astonished. Not including the years I spent in Preschool, I have 17 years of education under my belt. Seventeen years beginning with learning how to read and ending by putting the finishing touches on my Honors Thesis. Looking back at my past causes me to look somewhere else as well. I look overseas. In Afghanistan, if girls are lucky, they average 5.1 years of schooling. Boys average about 9. Some families can’t afford it, sometimes the resources just are not available to them – and that is why I do my part.
Today was an exciting day in class. As I drove to school I glanced at my back seat in my rearview mirror. There sat a donation box, USPS boxes packed to the brim with school supplies, and even more flat rate boxes ready to be taped up and stuffed full with supplies for the children in Afghanistan to use to continue their educations. I laughed and took a quick picture before I pulled out of my apartment complex. I thought “wow this is really taking up a lot of space in my car.”
And then a few hours later I learned the meaning of a full trunk…
This was the back of Professor Temple’s car before she went out to the Post Office to ship the load of 45 boxes we had ready for today. (Ironic that she parked in spot 45 right?) Next week we are expecting to ship the same amount of boxes over to Afghanistan as well. Suddenly the idea that my backseat was filled with boxes and supplies seemed silly. My backseat was nothing compared to what my classmates and I loaded during our class.
Boxes and boxes filled with supplies, with resources, with a few more tools to hopefully allow more Afghan children to stay in school for even just one more year and to gain a deeper education like I have been so fortune of these past 17 years.