08 Feb Sarah, Fall 2017
The main thing I keep close to my heart is my Judaism. I am from Alaska and we don’t really have many Jewish people in my community and over time dealing with being the only Jewish person that I knew took a toll on me. Growing up with Judaism has made a stronger person but also more vulnerable.The morals and ethics of the faith definitely influence the ideals that I try to keep in my daily life. One of the most defining moments in my life was walking out of the gates of Auschwitz in Birkenau, Poland. To walk out of a place that trapped people and caused so much trauma out of my own free will was very emotional. It was pouring down rain the whole time we were touring these concentration and death camps and as soon as we walked out of the last one, the sun was shining. It was so beautiful and it felt like something special happened that day that I can’t quite put into words. I would describe myself as a kind person. It was a big deal for me to decide to come to UW and my dad played a big part in it. My decisions are influenced by the things that I care about. Sometimes I can be too hard because I am exacerbating my efforts everywhere I go. I try to remember that I don’t have to be a perfectionist or a type A personality all the time. And it’s hard after being that way all the time and having such high expectations for myself. I’ve definitely gotten in tuned with my own personality and successes and downfalls and I think that has made me more self-aware in general. I moved to Poulsbo in May and left Anchorage about four days after I graduated from High School. It was really lonely this summer because I didn’t know anyone my age. I noticed how serious everyone is here about their schooling but I wasn’t able to find a social presence here until I cam to Unite UW. Everything else besides that made me feel so alone. Unite UW taught me that although it may seem like something small, humans need human connection and you can’t have that without basic genuineness. If you recognize that each person comes in their own way and their own form, you can always connect with someone in some way because, in the end, we are all human.