Today’s guest entry is by our Australian / British participant, Matthew Costello.
If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.
Coming into the program I expected the intensity to be overwhelming and I was not disappointed. It can be described as nothing short of a tidal wave. You arrive at the ‘beach’ and everything looks pretty. On the weekends you find time to explore the ski slopes, restaurant scene and surrounding towns. You get comfortable with the steady increase in workload but you find it manageable. By week three you are comfortable in your surrounds and think to yourself ‘I got this!’. Then gradually the water starts receding before your eyes. Its begins as a trickle then grows to a gentle rumble. Within days the rumble has turned to thunder and the trickle to a surge. You wake up one morning and find yourself treading water.
Your survival instinct kicks in. You try to swim alone then notice that you are but one of 90 souls floating in the middle of the ocean. Your only chance of survival is to work together. It is here that the strongest bonds are formed. Friendships and relationships are tested to the absolute. Stereotypes are smashed and cultural boundaries come crashing down. Team discussions get heated as deadlines loom and the effects of sleep deprivation sets in. Everything you thought you knew is tested and questioned. Everything you don’t know is brought to bear.
It’s in these moments you truly appreciate the beauty of each hour. It could be the runs along Lake Geneva as the snowcapped mountains watch over you and the sun reflects off the water like a vintage tanning mirror . It could be the late night pints at the pub with your classmates who simultaneously break into laughter at the realization that no one has done the next day’s readings. These moments are infrequent but they are truly memorable. And isn’t creating great memories what this year is all about?