Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend my first “open house” as a SOLES Ambassador, which was very rewarding.  While I had attended these events previously, my role was significantly more removed.  I felt a sense of pride to represent SOLES and the University of San Diego in a more official capacity and communicate with students more freely as they explored the universities available programs.
While at the event, I found that students consistently expressed curiosity regarding the international study component, prompting me to discuss my experience and opinions regarding my international travels.  It is truly amazing how a simple conversation can unearth and bring to the surface such vivid memories.  I found myself feeling nostalgic the remainder of the day, sifting through all of my photos and personal blog entries I possess from my time abroad.  I felt so removed from the experience that occurred a mere four months ago, and the self-reflection and growth that occurred therein.  A strange sense of guilt overcame me as I reminisced; guilt that I had not persisted in my daily efforts to maintain the growth I derived from my trip, and guilt that the incredible and influential people I met abroad had rarely crossed my mind over recent weeks as I became absorbed in the hustle and bustle of my daily life.  While it would have been easy to sink into a pool of self-pity or chastisement, I instead chose to forgive myself for this self-described indiscretion and make active changes in my daily routine to ensure these experiences and lessons learned remain more present each day.
I can’t help but find the irony in the events that transpired.  While attending an event designed to impart information, opinions and knowledge to others, it seems that it was me who left feeling more informed.  Moreover, my personal lesson allowed me to draw parallels between my recent revelation and my future as a clinical counselor. As I progress through this program, and continue on to my professional practice, I will endeavor to remain cognizant of the notion that for each client I feel I have provided help or information to, it is equally likely that they will have enlightened and shaped me as well.  We must remain cognizant that despite our professional titles and positions, we are never impervious to the light that may be shed on us by others, regardless of the circumstance.
As I continue on through my week, my hope is to remain more persistent in incorporating my lessons learned over recent weeks and months into my present.  As I conclude, I leave you with a quote that personally inspired me not only during my travels abroad, but today as well.  The message is profound and one that I carry with me in my personal and professional development.
Andi IMG_0465
Andi is a SOLES Ambassador and a current Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters Candidate, to read Andi’s profile and learn more about her experience in the CMHC program, follow the link>>

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