By Bella Wasserman, Grade 10
As the finals days approach, I have been reflecting on this Costa Rica trip. I have enjoyed bonding with my classmates as well as learning more about myself. When I went to the waterfall, I found bravery in myself as I was able to face my fears of heights as I jumped off the waterfall. In addition, visiting the school helped me develop a greater respect and gratitude for my life. I enjoyed talking to the kids because even though they did not have a lot of materials, they were happy. This showed me that relationships are more important than materials.
By Eamonn Kenny, Grade 10
There are many takeaways you can have from a trip like Costa Rica. You can miss the luxury of your privileged life in San Francisco and spend the trip complaining about how much you miss home and how the beds aren’t as nice as you are used to. This kind of attitude towards Costa Rica is one that will not allow space for you to grow as a person and will not allow you to come back a better version of yourself. On the day to day activities, there were many opportunities to think of how you impact others and how they in turn impact you. On this trip I was able to see my friends as the people who they truly are, which strengthened my bonds with people, but also I came to realize that some people are not really who I thought them to be.
Your friends need to consist of people who emit positivity and are always there for you. They should not bring you down or throw you under the bus for the sake of a joke. This realization helped me to expand my friends and cut back on those who bring me down. The next major takeaway from Costa Rica is that your happiness is all a mindset and is dependent on who you are with. I am at my happiest when I make others laugh or smile. For me, the ability to make others happy is in everyone but some choose to not use it because it is far easier to be mean than positive. The world needs more people to be kind. We should not have to look for reasons to be happy, but instead be happy without reason. Be happy you are loved, be happy you live in a privileged family in a beautiful city, and be happy for your friends for they are what make you happy and you should make them happy. Costa Rica is a time for you to take a look at yourself and see the areas that you can grow in and be vulnerable in that growth, and come back a better and happier person.