I've been back from Wisconsin for a little over a week now, which has given me a lot of time to digest everything I learned for those few enriching days.
By the third or fourth day at the World Affairs Seminar, I had already lost track of the number of days that I had been there. But rest assured, it wasn't because they are dragged along; I was enjoying myself so much in the present that I never had the time to look back at the past days. Only wall posts from friends (mostly Nicole) counting down the days to my return home reminded me that my days with my fellow delegates had to end... And very abruptly at that.
It finally sank in somewhere around noon on our last full day of camp, when I looked up from my plate of (way too much of) the delicious lunch special. There was a visible change amongst the interactions with the campers: they were through with the awkward, reserved small talk you make with acquaintances and were finally voicing their opinions and exposing their genuine, unrepressed personalities.
In all honesty, the people - those beautifully unique people - were the best part of my entire trip.
Although the World Affairs Seminar declares itself to be a teacher of the facts about the world's issues to which the delegates take action on solving, that wasn't exactly the case. This year's topic, Sustainable Development, proved to be too much to take on. The lectures didn't coordinate (and in a few cases, contradicted entirely) and the group discussions trekked from one road-block to another. The seminar was far from empowering. Frankly, we were all overwhelmed. How was this group of 280 young adults supposed to be able to solve a world issue when endless tangential crises arose in a simple discussion of the problem? Well, World Affairs Seminar.... A for effort, right?
Though the educational aspect completely faltered, the social scene was glorious. A week later, and I'm still pestering my friends and family with recollections of late night pillow-flights and practically drunken fits of laughter with Swetha and my awesome roommate, Leigh; song after horrendously cheesy song on Karaoke with too many people to try naming; accents galore; completely sarcastic conversations that evolve into an analysis of, society; and, most frequently, the countless memories I collected with Julia, Jenna, Sydney, Hannah, and Alison. These five girls were singlehandedly the greatest things of the entire seminar. Four of the girls were from Connecticut, and after giving me the titles of 'Arizona' and the occasional 'Fedora', we formed the cleverly named 'Connecti-clique'... And we 'shocked' the World Affairs Seminar;)
Needless to say, the trip WAS absolutely amazing (pun). I'm so grateful to the Sun Lakes Rotary for sponsoring me!