Thursday, August 12, 2010

Imaginary Counselors

By Tammy Chan (Queens, NY)

This morning, I found myself waking up at precisely 6:59 a.m., anticipating a loud knock on my door— more like a bang. There were times within these three days, I swore I heard a knock and proceeded to open the door to show my face to the imaginary counselor that was standing right there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally crazy. What was crazy though was dragging my feet to my door in Scully and turning what seemed to be the heaviest handle that has ever been installed on a door. I’m only half-shocked to admit this, but I miss the intense experience of SJP at Princeton University. Half-shocked only because part of me is glad to have gone through such an intense experience.

Ironically, what I miss most are the 17-hour days we had. From leaving Scully to have breakfast in Wilcox and then journeying, yes journeying to the Friend Center, it’s strange that I miss that long walk on hot days. I also miss being half-awake walking to the common room, looking sleep-deprived and seeing everyone look the same way and breathing a sigh of relief. I miss the little things too—like struggling every morning to take the dining card off the lanyard even though it was clearly accessible without taking it off. I miss starting the day out at breakfast with the ‘Alliance.’ I miss ending the day with a couple of games of Uno even when counselors would tell us to go to sleep. I miss the whole west coast, east coast duel, the whole shenanigan about how Long Island isn’t really part of New York (many thanks to SJP director Michael Koike '01 for confirming this on the second to last day with regards to traveling back). The list of what I miss could go on and on and on and on, but it would still never show just how much I miss it.

To be honest, I was glad to return home so that I could catch up on some sleep. So much for that … I still wake up at 6:59 a.m. and go to bed around 2:00 a.m., just because. It’s strange to think that we’re all back to our regular lives when those 10 days really consumed us in every way possible. I could tell my friends a storm about this program, but they’ll never really understand unless they were actually there.

This program really pushed us all beyond our limits in exposing the truth about our talents and about our abilities. The directors believed in us and pushed us a step towards the right direction. By doing that, we found out what our true abilities were. This program marked a time when we all thought that we couldn’t do it, but at the end, we hurdled down that obstacle and crossed the finish line … alive. I’m really grateful for getting the chance to be there when it all happened.

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