summer friends do stay.
this is going to be an unrefined attempt to unpack my reflections on the end of my time with LEAP, my cohort, and everyone else who touched my life this summer.
to FACE, i hope that you know that when i say you challenged me, it means that you took me out of the comfort of the familiar, and led me to understand a completely different area of the AAPI community. you challenged me to open my heart and mind to the uncomfortable, you taught me that people with different values can find common ground. you were not easy, but i wouldn’t have had it any other way. i haven’t been the perfect intern, but do know that i took this seriously, and will take all the lessons and blessings you’ve given me throughout my life. you taught me not to shy away from the light i hold inside.
to LEAP, i feel so so ready for my senior year because of every opportunity you’ve given me. every workshop was incredibly valuable, every lesson something to carry with me forever. thank you for listening, most of all. listening to me, my cohort, my anger, my fears. because of you i felt as if i made a real change. because of this program i am a more empowered asian-american woman. i promise to pay it forward when i can.
to the cohort, in no way did i see any of this coming. the stars aligned, and we were in the right place at the right time with each other. crossing paths in a way so dynamic and explosive that the world just couldn’t handle it – it only had to be for a summer. i feel like i could be my best self because you all were who you were. in all our imperfections as a group, i see so much strength and wisdom and kindness. all i can really say is that i’m grateful. i’m grateful for each of you, i’m grateful to have been in your presence and light. we’re off on our own paths now, but i have no doubts that we’ll meet again somehow. LEAP may have brought us all together but we made it what it was. i couldn’t have asked for a more badass, awesome, hardworking group to call my cohort, my friends, my loved ones. let’s not forget each other when we all make it.
special thanks to the LIA retreat week group for being my mini-family in that AMAZING one week together. much love to the hard summer squad for helping me close my summer RIGHT. though our time together was really for social bonding, you helped me have THE MOST fun this summer hands down. i needed a reminder to work hard but also play hard.
i’m off to senior year, to the rest of my life, but it’ll be hard to disprove the impact LIA made in my undergraduate career in both the small and big ways.