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Hannah Brown

Hannah's Top 5 Changing-ish Moments of 2016

by Hannah Brown | Oct 18, 2016

This time of the year is kind of magical. The leaves start changing from green to shades of red and orange, everyone brings out their sweaters and flannels, and everything is pumpkin flavored. It’s a time of the year that calls for change. It’s just 2 and a half months to 2017, and that’s a really terrifying thought. Didn’t 2016 just begin?

“October is about trees revealing colors they've hidden all year.

People have an October as well.” 

            I always thought fall was a great time for reflecting on my year, how I grew, changed, and became a better person. Like everyone, my year has been filled with ups and downs; it’s been a giant roller coaster. However, I’ve had several experiences in 2016 that have pushed me, and influenced who I am today. If you could choose a top five life changing-ish, experiences from 2016, and how they changed you as a person, what would they be?


            After a lot of thinking, typing and erasing, and staring at a blinking curser, I finally figured mine out. So here they are:

            1. On January 3, 2016, right at the start of the New Year, I left for 2 and a half weeks in Egypt. I went as part of a January Session trip, along with other students, two professors plus two friends, and three alumni of Manchester. I was taking Language & Thought, a communications class with several of the other students, the rest were taking a Religion class. It was an incredible experience. We spent two and a half weeks traveling through Egypt, cruising the Nile, touring Cairo, visiting temples and tombs, and learning all we could about it. I got to see glimpses of what it was like living in a place so different from the United States, and what life was like for them. As a Peace Studies major, the most powerful part was meeting people. Talking to them, and hearing their story was a really significant part of the trip, and of my year. It helped me realize pieces of myself, and shaped what I want to do in my life working in Nonviolence.


            2. On February 6th 2016, just one day after my 20th birthday, my niece, Juniper Aude, was born. It was one of the best days of my life. It made me realize all that I am, what I care about most, and the kind of person I want to be when she grows up. I want her to see a strong, courageous aunt, one who's passionate about what she does, and is surrounded by people she loves. That’s the kind of person that she made me want to be, and she helped me find my inspiration.


            3. Around March of 2016, I thought I wanted to transfer. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about that decision, and how I later changed my mind, and decided to stay at Manchester (yay, go Manchester)! But it really made me realize what was important to me, the kind of people and friends I wanted to surround myself with, how important my family is to me, and what I wanted to do with my life and my degree. It was a very influential time for me, and I learned what my values truly were. I’m so happy that I decided to stay here in North Manchester. I feel so at home, and supported here. I know there are people here that care about me, and that’s the kind of place I wanted, and needed to be a part of.


            4. In May of 2016, I moved to Chicago for the summer to be the nanny for my niece. I lived with a family friend on the North side of the Windy City on the lake, and I mean right on the lake. Every morning I would commute to my sister and brother-in-law’s house, about a 30 minute train ride, and spend the day with my niece. She was just over 3 months old when I got to Chicago in May. It was one of the best ways I could spend my summer, even though I had to wake up early, work some weekends, and change a lot of diapers. I got to watch her grow, and change every day. I saw her learn how to laugh, and smile. I saw the first time she sat up, and watched her learn to scoot across the floor. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my summer doing anything else!


            5. Starting my Junior Year at Manchester has been a really significant time of my year, and kind of my life. I felt like I was at a really good place in general, with my friends, with school, and with myself. I really feel like I’m figuring myself out, and where I’m going in life. I’m starting to think about after college, what I’m going to do, and where I’m going to be. I’ve changed a lot in just the month and a half-ish that I’ve been at school, and I’ll probably change a lot more by the time 2017 rolls around.


            This is my October. I’m revealing colors that I’ve hidden all year. This is the best time of the year to change. It’s magical because the earth is changing in a million different ways, so why not change with it? 

Hannah Brown '18 is from Yellow Springs, Ohio. She is majoring in Peace Studies with a focus on Social Justice. She also works as a Student Ambassador at Manchester.