Does Southwestern College really deliver on its mission, “Transforming Consciousness through Education”?
I am approaching the end of my first year at Southwestern College. Time has flown. This is not just because I decided on Option One for the program, but also because so much has happened in these last 8 months. As a graduate assistant I thought it would be a worthwhile project to track my transformation and write about it. I wanted to see if the school really does what it claims: transform consciousness through education. It was going to be called ‘The Metamorphosis of a Southwestern College Student’. I would come home from school and write about the pivotal thing that happened in class, whether it was a powerful insight, a touching conversation or a total breakdown. I stopped writing about these types of events around March. It is not because they stopped happening, but because too many were happening to keep track of. These events became a way of life instead of something striking to record. It began to feel as though walking onto campus was inherently going to uproot my reality system or bestow some spiritual epiphany. So the project did not exactly take off, but honestly I can’t think of a better problem to have.
Southwestern College has not only been the school I go to; it has become a place of profound learning and healing where I feel settled in a beautiful and nurturing community. The philosophy of this school and the depth of classroom experience facilitated the type of relationships I’ve yearned for my whole life. The interpersonal communication skills, self-awareness and the deeper loving I feel for myself and others are the gems that emerged for me from this experiential education. In learning the meaning of vulnerability and courage, my inner landscape is utterly transformed. I knew this is what I wanted when I came here, but the felt sense of it surpassed my expectations, for which the only appropriate response is humble gratitude.
I have three weeks left in Santa Fe before returning to New York for summer. The countdown playing in my head is loud as the inevitable goodbyes approach. Thankfully it is temporary departure and I will be back in September (ready for practicum!), but I know it will be hard for me to transition out of this community. I want to say thank you to all the teachers, students, and administration members who have made my experience here life changing by giving me the space to just be myself. I have never felt more in my body or more proud to be who I am, and I certainly did not achieve this alone. I love all of you.