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Reflection. Reevaluation. Reorientation. This practice can often go ignored when we have what seems like millions of things to do and the world is constantly changing; however, it’s necessary to remember why we are doing these things and how they apply to our future. Sitting down to write this today made me stop for a second to reflect on how far I have come in this experience and to think about how my hopes and expectations have reoriented themselves and how they have developed. This milestone is an important one in my DukeEngage experience and with Building from Below (BFB).

I started off this journey with some uncertainty, but also with a lot of hope. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working on, around, and with the dubbing project and team I am a part of along with my time in other organizational spaces. I am growing in my understanding of my role in a larger context. Being with BFB has definitely taught me this.

One part of this experience that I hadn’t entirely anticipated was the importance of collective accountability and how I also have had to hold myself accountable. It has been challenging to hold myself to a standard that feels worthy of the work and mission of this organization. However, that is part of the struggle of learning how to work collectively. Of course, it is important that I hold myself accountable for the work and tasks I am responsible for, which I have learned over these past few weeks; however, it is also important that I remember I am not alone in this effort. In our conversations during the week, as a team, we have reflected on our accomplishments and actions to then reevaluate them against our goal. This practice has helped me remember the larger goal/s of our project and made it easier to handle this challenging aspect.

This process of reflection, reevaluation, and reorientation is important when faced with change. Knowing that what is ahead will be different is daunting but important to acknowledge. Taking the time to reevaluate the circumstances is helpful to knowing how to approach that new situation. Otherwise, expectations and hopes can feel out of reach and lead to more confusion and fear. Of course, there will always be uncertainty with every change, but what is important is that we are willing to accept that change and reorient ourselves instead of feeling overwhelmed by it. This is a process through which I have felt myself grow in my understanding of how to approach new situations and what that may require of me—which, for me, has been a commitment to trying and finding out what works even if it takes a while.