Preparing For My “New Beginning”

tumblr_m02jmbZb4C1r21vxto1_500By Sabrina Bong — When I was a junior in high school, I had to take Confirmation classes with the rest of the candidates.

On the first day, the teachers handed us all a quiz to assess what we already knew about our religion. I breezed through the questions until I came to the one that said: “What is the most important day in the Catholic religion?” I pondered this for a moment before writing down Christmas. My teacher then informed me that it is actually Easter that is the most important, not Christmas, because of the Resurrection. My response? “There wouldn’t be an Easter without a Christmas!”

Now that I’m older (and not quite as argumentative), I see why the Resurrection is so important. We often equate the term “resurrection” with new beginnings, a new birth after death. As graduation slowly draws nearer, I’ve been thinking about all the new beginnings I will be encountering. When I make my list, though, one thing really stands out: this August, for the first time in 19 years, I will not be starting school as a full-time student.

As I think about this transition from student to counselor, I find myself feeling a little sad. I have spent the past six years at Marquette, learning and growing not only as a future counselor, but on a much more personal level as well. It is hard to leave a place that has been “home away from home” for that long. Part of me wonders how I will get along in these next few years as I adjust. At the same time, another part of me is ready for the adventure that is ahead (and for no more homework …)

However, even though I am leaving the shelter of Marquette, I am taking a part of Marquette with me. While I will be using my knowledge gained here to help serve the school I work at, I will also be integrating important life lessons I’ve learned outside the classroom in my school. For example, during my time at Marquette, I learned about “cura personalis”, or care for the whole person. This is especially crucial to remember in the counseling field.

During my internship experience, I have met a lot of younger students who have terrible behavior problems. I have had students as young as second grade swear at me – it shocked me the first time it happened! But then, I soon learned why these students were using such foul language. Some of them came from families that fought continuously, and swearing was all they heard. Some picked up the language from video games, which they played while their parents worked second or third shift. By learning this background story, I was able to help the whole person – the student as a whole, not just their “symptom” of bad language.

But my favorite lesson that I’ve learned outside the classroom? Be the difference. It’s cheesy, since that is the big phrase that everyone at Marquette says. But that one saying has taught me so much. I am prepared, as I start this “new beginning,” to be the difference wherever I go.

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter!

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