My two best friends Kananura Brigitte and Ornella Urutesi Rwanziza, my best friend and future Muhlenberg sister, are the best cooks I know. They are in Rwanda but stayed up all night on the phone to help me cook chicken. At times they would make fun of me as we went through the directions but I’m very thankful to have friends who are constantly willing to help no matter where I am and at any time of the day.
For the remainder of the week, I cooked everything by myself including sweet potatoes, pasta and peanut sauce. The food was delicious, and I believe that I’m improving my cooking skills. My aunt has always pushed me to learn to cook because she told me, “The skill will come in handy one day.” On my third night of cooking, I called her and she told me she was proud and can’t wait to taste my food. I can’t wait for her to taste my food either!
Attending a campus sports event and filming the game:
Being in college, all of my friends go to sports games but I prefer to stay in my room. The last sporting event I remember watching was the World Cup in 2006. However, over break I decided to attend the men’s lacrosse game against Moravian College. Earlier in the week, I received an email asking if there were any students on campus who wanted to volunteer and operate the cameras at the game, but I didn’t reply because I had never operated a camera before. I got to the stadium early and when I saw the coach, who’s also the professor of my fitness class, I said hi. He was telling someone that they probably weren’t going to stream the game since no one was willing to hold the cameras. I told him I can try but was not sure of what I should do. He provided instructions, and I ended up filming the game.
While filming, I watched every move the players performed, the effort, the miles put in their victory and the support each player gave their teammates. I worked with two cameras, and my main duties were to focus in the middle each time a goal was scored and zoom in when the players celebrated a goal. My fitness professor was so thrilled I volunteered that after the game he came up to me and said, "You did an amazing job and thank you so much for your help! You made this happen!"
I enjoyed this new experience. It felt amazing to help out my professor and campus community, and I loved watching how happy all the players were when the Mules scored. The game was very close and seeing the sweat, scars and dedication of each player was inspiring. It reminded me to fight for the things that I really care about.
I was proud of myself for attending the game versus staying in my room, and I enjoyed feeling more connected to the outside world. Now I understand why everyone else is always excited on game days. You walk away inspired and full of energy. I can’t wait to feel these emotions again because next time my friends will not go without me!
Facing my fear of heights:
Another way I challenged myself was by going rock climbing at the North Summit Climbing Gym. I’m very afraid of heights and it’s hard for me to trust people so I was nervous to work with someone who was going to pull my rope in while I climbed. I had never met my belayer before but as I climbed higher on the wall I began to let go of all my trust issues and started to believe that she was keeping me safe and wouldn’t let me fall. I successfully climbed the first, second and third levels and was very proud of myself.
Even though I spent most of my break at Muhlenberg, I was grateful when my mentor Katherine Bates invited me to join her in New York. She was in the city for work, and I took a bus and train to meet her. It was freezing, but a good experience because I always have fun with Katherine. While exploring New York, I felt inspired just by watching how the people work through the cold and how the city is always bustling. We walked through Times Square and the NYU Stern School of Business where Katherine’s an alumna.
Overall, I had the best week. When my friends returned to campus I was excited to be reunited with them and share everything I had accomplished. By choosing to spend spring break at Muhlenberg, I told myself I wouldn’t fall into boredom and loneliness. Rather, I used the time off to challenge myself. Every day I woke up with a smile on my face and full of energy. I realized I was wrong to think that I can be only be happy when surrounded by others. By focusing on myself for a full week, I learned I’m capable of having fun and opening myself up to new opportunities.
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