I remember when I was first looking at Maine Coast Semester, before I had been accepted or could even believe I would come here. I read the blog, looked at the photos on flickr, read all the information, and filled my mind with the idea that MCS was a perfect world. Since coming here, I’ve realized the impossibility of this idea. Instead, I have truly experienced a coming of age that would have been different anywhere else.
It’s hard to define exactly what has meant so much to me – it could be arriving for the first time at Chewonki with the snow falling softly all around, feeling like I was about to embark on an adventure that would be important in my life. It could be the heart-pounding risk of expressing my deepest fears, or somehow finding the bravery to take the first step and do something hard for myself. It could be the joy I found from revealing myself to my cabin-mates and being accepted in return, or the fact that one day, I realized that I considered my cabin home. It could be the surprising, overwhelming feeling of loving those five girls so much, that I considered them both my friends and my family. It could be watching the snow disappear into muddy paths, and then seeing a daffodil for the first time, realizing that winter was over and spring had come. It could be going on my solo and working out my feelings on page after page of my journal, or the new understanding I acquired of people my age. It could be anything – finding my way through this part of my life, stumbling through fear and despair, and finding hope and bravery. It could be watching 38 other people my age do the same. It could be looking at nature in a completely new way, or making prints in art class of an image that I couldn’t get out of my head. It could be the music I always hear being played, or the songs being sung. I can’t choose one moment. I have been inspired and amazed by the bravery and the capacity to love of everyone here. I’ve discovered my truth, I’ve bared my soul, I’ve cried and I’ve laughed, and I’ve lived.
-Emma, Semester 42