Interest Ignites the Will (Hopefully)

Esinam G. is currently a junior at SYA France and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from The Madeira School in Virginia.

With just two months left in Rennes, my daydreaming tends to consist of wondering about what my life after SYA will feel like. It is almost unimaginable think that soon, I will be going back to my routine and my friends before this year. I wonder how the person I have become and the lessons I have learned will affect my future. Leaving will be a drastic change after spending time in a close community and sharing the same goals, focuses and pressures. We have travelled together, learned together and even at times, cried together. Our concerns and worries were shared uniquely among us. We will now go back to a bigger community where no one will understand the experiences and journeys we embarked on in the past year. We will likely face a disconnect between us and the people who were our friends prior to SYA and feel pressures completely different to those we are experiencing now. I guess it is hard to explain the gift that is this experience and so I, perhaps like some of my classmates, do not know how to fathom a world in which we aren’t all together.

My lessons learned and takeaways are probably completely different from each person in my class which, in itself, is the pure beauty of the program. The number one takeaway I will strive to keep in my life is to never be afraid to lose and find myself time and time again. Being lost led me to Rennes. It gave me the chance to know the most unforgettable and wonderful people I may ever know. In being lost, I also found the magic of genuinely liking my classes and course material. Before SYA, education felt like an obligation that I knew I had to fulfill but never one that I felt passionate about. This is not to say that school isn’t hard and I suddenly love spending the majority of the day in a classroom but rather, that is has grown on me significantly.

My electives this year enabled me to find an interest in the rise of nationalism in the 1930’s and its connection to our world now. Through them, I discovered that they are never too many metaphors to be made when talking about the architecture of the Chateau de Chambord in Art History. I know that there were probably countless adults along the way of all our respective childhoods that drilled the importance of learning in our minds. It is hard to believe them when you are forced to complete a schedule of practically no choice but passion and interest will ignite the will to learn, no matter how impossible that may feel. Having an interest a topic will give you the ability to receive a bad grade and still smile in the same instant because despite what it written on a piece of paper, you know that you learned something and continue to learn.

So future SYA students, if you feel like school is hopeless and are struggling to find ways to justify getting an education (much like the average teenager), I guarantee you there is an abundance of ways to learn here and just maybe, you might find your passion at SYA.

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A New Normal

Annika compares her new normal to her life in Rennes in her last blog.


Luke recalls a recent memory that encapsulates the lessons he learned from SYA.