After a long week of midterm exams, and a seemingly longer drive home, I'm finally back in Detroit for the first time since August 21st. It's been quite the trying time, but I'm happy to say I've come out on top. I just want to offer a short reflection on my first lap at Oberlin:
I'm currently taking four classes: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, Introduction to International Politics, American History to 1877, and She Works Hard for the Money: Women, Work and the Persistence of Inequality. All of these classes are great. Some nights I have hours worth of readings, but I know that in return my worldview is constantly being challenged.
What I'm most pleased about regarding my classes is how well they relate to each other. I find myself tapping into similar material among all my courses both directly and indirectly. From studying gender discrimination in the labor market, to the modern and practical application of Realism in international relations, all the way to questioning if people are inherently violent, I have found peace in knowing that my studies do not exist in isolation.
Is it really work if you love what you're doing? This is debatable, but I can truly say that I've found some niches on campus. Working in the Office of the Student Treasurer is fantastic. I'm learning new skills every day, acquainting myself with the different student organizations, and building a new family in the office. As a student host, I've hosted three prospies so far. Being able to share my Oberlin with them has been a rewarding experience, and has even challenged me to go out and explore areas in Oberlin I wouldn't otherwise consider.
I use the term play loosely, but I think it's an appropriate descriptor for the ways I stay grounded. Lately, just being around friends has helped to keep me positive in the midst of stressful situations. I recently was reacquainted with my saxophone, so between that and sitting at the piano, I've been able to express myself through music. Staying involved, keeping busy, and the occasional (frequent) phone call with mom is keeping this train on its tracks.
To say it simply, my first two months at Oberlin have been amazing, and I'm excited for many more.