This morning I was chatting with one of my lovely classmates about our first two weeks at Southwestern College. She said something that instantly resonated with me- “I feel like we’re at Hogwarts!”
Thinking more about this humorous comparison to Harry Potter, I began to see more and more striking parallels. We are summoned here by some pull within ourselves, to a school that our families have most likely never heard of. It’s a unique campus with an almost magical quality about it- exploding with color, art, flowers, and people who just “get it”. I’ve never felt more normal or more at home in my entire life. I am starting to make sense to myself as I am surrounded by people who are passionate about this same, obscure thing as I am- art therapy.
There are many hurdles to be faced in the classroom that the muggle world outside of the campus seems oblivious to. We are called to face our own three headed dogs, giant snakes, and dragons. There’s nothing like driving home from class and being surrounded by cars full of people who didn’t just feel that emotional earthquake that brought half of your Human Development class to tears. How is the world still spinning?!
The rapid growth I have already experienced here is hard to explain to others. For example, I never thought I would meditate on an orange for thirty minutes, or feel so intimately attached to it afterwards for that matter (try explaining this experience is to your friends and family without them laughing-it’s impossible). The great thing is that you’re never alone, and a handful of classmates are willing to stay with you after class on any given day to decompress from any lingering intensity together.
The personal and academic spheres have become one. In my
first weeks of graduate studies, I have learned more about myself and my identity as a therapist than I did during my entire four years of undergraduate work. It is intense, but I know that this school is preparing me to be the best therapist I could possibly be, and that to be successful in this field is to be successfully self-aware. I was not sure what “consciousness” meant before coming here, but now I have a deeper sense of awareness in my daily life. I am so thankful that I landed right here, right now. SWC really is its own kind of Hogwarts, and it is working magic in my life.