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With DukeEngage wrapping up, I’m thinking towards the upcoming school year. I move back to Duke in 10 days, and I’ll be a sophomore. I’ll be looked to for guidance from the new freshmen. I’ll have new leadership positions. I’ll be exposed to a wide variety of new opportunities.

How do I take my DukeEngage experience with me after it’s over?

I’ve never designed my own lesson plan before. Planning everything that I wanted to cover about water scarcity and treatment, some fun interactive games, and an experiment in great detail was stressful and exciting.

I’ve never really taught in a classroom setting before. Teaching about something that I’m passionate about was empowering and challenging. Trying to make what I thought was cool seem cool to the girls was difficult and rewarding.

I’ve never acted as a role model for this many girls before. Having conversations with them about topics ranging from the cool comic books they had to the struggles they had with their families was humbling, heartwarming, and emotionally draining.

All these things I had never done before this summer, but I think I did them pretty well. I’m going to remember the impact the girls had on me. I’m not going to doubt my abilities when I want to take an opportunity. I think that this is just one of the ways that I’ll take my DukeEngage experience with me.

After camp ended, I’ve already finished two applications for Duke programs that I wasn’t confident enough to apply for earlier. So I know for sure that I’m already acting on what this DukeEngage experience has taught me.

I’m so excited to go back to Duke. I’m ready to guide freshmen, take on new leadership opportunities, and search for new opportunities.