More specifically, Cornell University, which is where I got my undergraduate degree. I always think that Cornell is where I found my voice. Not just a voice in my writing, but an actual voice as well. Up until that point I had been a little frightened to speak up and be the person I wanted to be. But, in my time there, it seemed I was not afraid to say or do anything.
When I think of the things I did, I surprise myself with the memory. I think of the classes I spoke in front of, the singing auditions I attempted, the actors that gave voice to my short plays in theatre classes, the stories I read out loud in workshops. And of course, I remember my closest friends, who are the friends I always imagined having. The bars we frequented, the plantations we wandered through, the midnight swims in the steep gorges, the drives to the secret swimming hole where I sat underneath waterfalls in the pouring rain.
It’s been nearly ten years since I graduated, but I remember that being a time of true freedom. A time to explore and become.
I always think of this bench which sits on top of the slope and overlooks the lake. The quote carved into it encompasses everything I felt during my time there. It was a time of extreme emotions. The first time I felt a part of something larger and more real than anything I had experienced before it. It might also explain why I never felt afraid.
To those who shall sit here rejoicing
To those who shall sit here mourning
Sympathy and greeting
So have we done in our time
Photo Credit: vonhohenstaufen