Can you believe the differences that four years can make?

If you do not mind, let me take a moment to depart from my normal postings about China and allow me a bit of nostalgia to talk about my college, Xavier University. Four years ago, I was ripe out of high school believing I understood all that is necessary about the world. Now entering my senior year in college, I realize that the world is entirely different than what I had thought; not only that, but how I view the world has been completely been relandscaped. Privilege, social responsibility, inclusivity, etcetera, etcetera, all of those buzz words that fly around Xavier have dug gaping trenches into the chambers of my heart. Four years has made a huge difference.

Being away from Xavier minded people has been an interesting transition. I am the only Xavier student currently doing a summer in Shanghai, China. Not only has the language and cultural differences of China been a change, but also weaving into a new crowd has been a transition itself. Having enriching discussions about poverty, social injustices, spirituality, or other issues that matter has not been an easy find. That is not to say that the people in this program do not care about any of that–they are truly wonderful people–I would merely say that we are of different circles. That being said, I did have a wonderful conversation with someone here about just those same topics the other day that inspired me to write this post.

If my blog posts can enlighten any detail in the readers, it is that China is different. The culture, the food, the politics, everything is different in their own unique way in China. As the conversation with one of the other members of my program carried on, we integrated how being in China has effected our perspectives of the world. While I cannot exactly put into words the breadth of our conversation, I can say that I left the discussion with a deep sense of some indescribable emotion towards the education that I have received from Xavier University.

A Xavier education inspires people to consider different perspectives.  It does not force students to change their image, it merely tilts the hanging picture against the wall just enough to make you think that something is different. It causes students to raise unanswered questions. It challenges the status quo to reconsider the preconceived norm.  It maintains the frame, but changes the landscape of individual. In four years my landscape has changed, nearly just as dramatically as the landscape of Xavier in just four years.

Google Street View of Xavier
Notice that the Google Image copyright date is August 2009, it is the same time that the Xavier University Class of 2013 began their career at Xavier.

Can you believe the differences that four years can make?


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