Today was the last day that we spent at Mount Holyoke College (MHC), as we will be moving on to Simmons College tomorrow to continue our journey. I had never visited MHC prior to coming here for the Institute, but I am so happy that I had the opportunity to do so. The campus is incredibly beautiful and spacious and reminds me of my home back in Exeter, New Hampshire. (Also, Mount Holyoke's library looks like Hogwarts, the magical school that J.K. Rowling's fictional character Harry Potter attends.)
After finishing up my shift at 1 p.m, I finally had the opportunity to visit Abbey Chapel, which is this tall (again, Hogwarts-looking) building next to the library. I decided to walk in and check it out, feeling the tourist in me and I am really happy that I acted on that impulse to walk into that chapel.
I walked in and, after having been in the cold and breathing really heavily, I immediately felt a sense of peace fall over me like water might fall on one's head in the shower. My breathing was calmer. That was when I realized that no one else was in the chapel. I was alone.
As a disclaimer, I am not overly-religious. In fact, I struggle with my faith. I was brought up Catholic and I have a hard time connecting with the religion, but spirituality is something that I think I have a handle on. (Don't worry, this whole post won't just be on me going into the chapel.) I entered the chapel and felt as though my feet were closer to the ground somehow, as if I were in the process of being planted inside of the building.
Coming to the chapel really centered me. The concept of being centered is difficult to explain. In fact, I don't think that I even quite understand it, but to me, it means feeling a sense of wholeness in the moment and having control over that wholeness.
My trip to the chapel reminded me that even with all the various and numerous tasks we have floating around in our brains and all of the people who demand so much from us, it is important to make sure that we are feeding our own souls. We need to take care of ourselves, whether that be retail therapy or having a Snicker's bar, because you aren't yourself when you're hungry (and yes, that was a plug for Snicker's).
As we move forward to the next part of our journey together, it is important to reflect on all of the connections we have made so far and will continue to make throughout the course of the Institute. Although not everything always goes according to plan, I know that all of us Student Ambassadors work together to make things work and to problem solve when we need to. We have each other's backs and that is what is important. We are a team. We are Simmons, Smith and Mount Holyoke, but together we are one.
Tomorrow morning we begin our Simmons portion of our journey (HOORAY!). Since Erin O'Connor, Ashli, Maria and I have to leave here by 6:15 a.m. tomorrow morning, there will be a mandatory coffee run.
Goodnight and sweet dreams (no pun intended) of iced mocha coffees and glazed donuts...