By Samantha G., FINS Program Alumni
Here I am on day 20 of Outward Bound, after paddling for miles and ending at different campsites each night. It was quite an experience to have such amazing girls and instructors. I think my favorite experience had to be the last day paddling on the Suwannee River.
On day 16, my team and I decided to paddle a whole 30 miles in one day. Being able to drive myself and my team to paddle that many miles shows a lot of encouragement. It felt good to challenge myself and actually follow through with it. Just like I challenged myself to do honors. I went for honors not only to make my mom proud, but to actually strive and prove to myself that I can push myself in any obstacle that I take. As in, no matter what, I will always come out of a situation stronger than I was before. On this course, you learn and gain a lot but I think the biggest learning I will take back with me is that there is no bending rules or getting out of something. Sometimes, actually, most times you have to push yourself and get through any obstacle. This is what I plan on doing when I get home, because no matter what, what needs to be done isn’t done ’til it is recognized, thought-through, and finished. I earned my honors mostly for myself; yeah my mom may be proud of me going above and beyond, but opting for honors gives me that extra strength internally to say I am going to do better. I am going to be successful and be able to follow through with it.
I got asked, “Where do you see yourself in six months?” I say: I’m 17, still with my mom, hopefully gained a better relationship full of respect and trust. I will have freedoms, my new phone, have a job, and just about to start my senior year of high school. I believe that my life will be better and every mistake I make will teach me and make me stronger. I was told you are not a bad person for making mistakes, you are a good person learning right from wrong. To end my speech I want to share a quote from the Outward Bound Book of readings:
“It was not beautiful or pleasant feelings that gave me new insight but the ones against which I found most strongly; feelings that made me experience myself as shabby, petty, mean, helpless, humiliated, demanding, resentful or confused, and above all sad and lonely. It was precisely through these experiences, which I had shunned for so long, that I became certain that I now understood something about my life – stemming from the core of my being, something that I could not have learned from any book.” -Alice Miller