On May 12, 2013, I officially earned my Bachelor's Degree in International & Global Studies. Honestly, it all still seems rather surreal; I was traveling for two weeks after graduation, so I've only been settled into my new house in Georgia for a few days. Between unpacking my dorm room and unpacking an entire house, things have certainly been chaotic! I've finally started to have time to reflect on my college experience – something that has shaped my life in ways I'm sure I will continue to discover for years to come. I've also started reflecting on what, exactly, "Commencement" is and how it relates to my work for next year. While it may be the end of my undergraduate carrer, it is the beginning of my being sent out into the world, carrying the lessons I have gained within and outside of the classroom.
Our Baccalaureate speaker was David Brooks, who gave us this advice: "Don’t think about what you want from life. Think about what life wants from you. If you’re observant, some large problem will plop itself in front of you. It will define your mission and your calling. Your passion won’t come from inside. It will come from outside." It seems appropriate that "Commencement" and "Mission" have similar etymologies. "Mission" comes from the Latin word meaning "to send out" and "commencement" is "the act of beginning." As I begin preparing to leave for Hong Kong, the similarities between the two become more and more apparent.
In other news, I am still fundraising! The Diocese has set up an online payment system which should make the process easier. I have also set up a Calendar, which marks the sponsorship days. Each day in Hong Kong is approximately $30. If you would be willing to make a tax-deductible donation, you can follow the link and select "YASC Mission: Sara Lowery" from the drop-down menu. In the comments section, please note which days you would like to sponsor.
The next step for me is training in New York! In two weeks, I will be reunited with my fellow YASCers while we prepare to depart. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and to learning more about what it takes to move abroad for a year!