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This week was the last week of Eureka! summer camp. Monday morning was filled with reflection about the past three weeks, but also about what I wanted out of the last week.

Like most endings, the last week of Eureka! was bittersweet. I was sad because I knew I would miss the girls and seeing my DukeEngage friends everyday. A part of me was happy or relieved that I no longer had to wake up at 6:30am only to drive an hour to work, then have an exhausting day on my feet, then drive an hour back to our apartment, and on some days have to do reflection or group dinner or workout! These past four weeks were both physically and mentally tiring. But, on Monday morning, I decided not to wallow in the negatives and make Week 4 great because I wanted to look back upon it with fond memories.

On Friday, we took part in Eurekathon, which was a small party where girls got to sign yearbooks and receive awards. The whole day was happy and lighthearted, until the end. When girls started to leave, the tears started to come. Girls were crying that they wouldn’t see their friends for a whole summer. Others were crying because their favorite staff was leaving.

What hurt the most was that I knew that I would never see most of these girls again. I felt that I was abandoning some of these girls and it broke my heart. I felt as though I owed them more than just four weeks of my summer. Now, I know all of their stories, but I am leaving them behind. This is hard to wrestle with because while I know I made an impact, part of me feels like it was a haphazard effort.

Reading the thank you notes that girls wrote was helpful in overcoming this feeling. I remembered some of my teachers and how they made an impact in my life. It’s customary for students to move on with just the memories and lessons learned. While I am sad this experience is over, it truly has changed my life.

The DukeEngage Team at Eurekathon