One of the happiest times of my life was my first month at TCU. Between Frog Camp, classes, rushing, and everything else, there was so much to do. I felt like I was constantly meeting new people, joining new groups, and learning new things. My favorite part was at the end of each and every day when I would lie down in my room, look up at the ceiling, and think to myself, “This is it. This is college.” I felt like I was in my own personal heaven, like I’d found my home.
So far throughout my experience with Teach For America, I’ve felt that same sense of wonderment, awe, and joy. The days have been long and hard and the challenges are only beginning, but I can’t begin to describe how at peace I feel. I am right where I need to be.
In The Message version of the Bible, Jesus talks about “the unforced rhythms of grace.” That’s where I am right now. I’m happy and fulfilled. I’m so tired, but every night I go to sleep so excited for the morning to come. I can’t wait for Institute and the weeks to follow.
The days at Induction have been long and packed with information, socializing, and general preparations for our time in the corps. Every day begins at 6 AM with a run. Breakfast in the dorm cafeteria and then it’s to the busses that leave at 7:30. We spend all day in various sessions, learning more about the achievement gap, the state of Oklahoma, and each other. Over the course of Induction, we’ve visited the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, various nonprofits, and several local businesses that have created in all of us a deeper connection to the city. Just as importantly, we’ve all become fast friends. I already feel an intense connection with my colleagues. They are all incredible people and they are all dedicated to the same cause that I have put so much of myself into.
As we were going through one of our presentations, a quote was presented that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. “This is our generation’s civil rights movement.” This, ending the achievement gap caused by inequity in education, is my generation’s chance to give everyone the same rights.
There’s no easy or simple way to explain how I feel right now, but I will say this: this is the happiest I’ve ever been. I am completely fulfilled. I am right exactly where God wants me to be. I have never felt so strongly about something. This is what I need to be doing. I haven’t slept in a week but I feel so alive. I’ve chugged the kool-aid. I’m caught up in the waves, the rhythms of grace.