Senior reflection: Every experience is a learning experience

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Senior reflection: Every experience is a learning experience

submitted Caroline Elfland

submitted Caroline Elfland

submitted Caroline Elfland

Caroline Elfland, Staff Writer

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Oh, Algonquin. Algonquin, Algonquin, Algonquin, to properly reflect upon our experiences together would be a long, agonizing journey, filled with confusion and words not fit for print, that I do not want to relive. But my very good friend and fellow 2018 graduate Linear Dowd taught me “every experience is a learning experience,” so through very gritted teeth I can concede: it was all worth it.

At Algonquin, I learned that just because someone in a position of authority says something is true does not mean it is true. We are all humans interacting and collaborating. No position unlocks hidden knowledge. In fact, I have discovered just how poisonous power can be. Be wary of advisors who supplement ability with authority.

I learned that establishment is the enemy of growth. When something is established it is dormant. Algonquin is an establishment. Developing the skills over the past four years to trudge forward through establishment will be useful beyond measure in a society terrified of change.

I have learned never to conform, neither personally or socially. Algonquin, by no fault of its own (though I do not dismiss its blame), was never going to be the place where I was going to excel. I found out how to attune myself to my environment while simultaneously challenging my environment to collude with me. I hope my recent attitude of “It’s senior year, who cares?” is a wave I can ride far beyond high school.

I learned to be optimistic and keep an open mind. My resentment toward the institution bled in to my feelings toward its congregation. There are good ones. I assumed everyone was as shallow as the cliches. There are actually teachers who got into the field because they truly care about the direction in which the world is going and have the nimble hands that can productively mold the minds of the future. There are also members of my class who repeatedly remind me to seize the magic of a mind still under development.

I am terrified. I am terrified that the nostalgia and sentiment of the past month will overshadow the treachery that has been the past four years. Despite the known girth of my Bruce Springsteen fandom, I pray these were not my glory days. We are only just getting started.

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