Eurekathon, our final day of the camp held at the Santa Ana Delhi Center, was the definition of a bittersweet party. For as much pride I had in the girls’ visible growth there was equal sadness because I had to come to terms with likely never seeing them again. And as much I want to be able to stay in touch with these girls and watch them grow up, there is something so special about a short intense relationship.
For every day, from eight in the morning until five in the evening, these students were our responsibility, our subjects to teach, but also our friends; by the end they even felt like my little sisters that I never had growing up. I never attended camp growing up, but I have had mentors come and go out of my life. I still think of teachers that I had learned a lot from, babysitters that I got along with particularly well, and older students I was able to look up to. And some of these memories are so clearly molded in my mind that I know I would not be able to forget these people if I tried.
Because these people are not in my life anymore, these positive memories are all that remains from our relationship. I know that the same will hold true for so many of the amazing students I was able to meet this summer, and the positive moments I shared that had me crying of laughter, impressed and taken aback by their accomplishments, or humbled by their strength will stay with me for many years and maybe for the rest of my life.
The past couple months in Orange County have put so much of my life into perspective for me and reminded me what is important. After having a job that was so dependent on relationships I realize how much I neglect my own at school by always putting work first, and I refuse to allow myself to do that again following a summer that left me so full of positivity and happiness.