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When asked to describe the most important lesson she will take away from Emmanuel College, Sarah Flynn paused before answering. “For me it was a relief to realize that real life is a lot different from the rules we’re taught are absolute,” she said, “It’s okay to go outside the box and do the things that make you happy.”
She left the village of North Brandford to make her mark on the city of Boston in 2009. Sarah approached her first year at Emmanuel like most college freshman – by smothering her insecurities with a façade of confidence and easy nonchalance.
But beneath a cool exterior, Sarah admits she had transformed into the ultimate pleaser, someone consumed by going above and beyond to accommodate new friends and professors. Failure – or worse, disappointment – was not an option.
Four years later Sarah carries herself quite differently.
“I’m more assertive,” she said, “I’m more confident – but not in the ways I wanted to be as a freshman.”
Years of rigorous academia and a semester in Europe have helped her develop a fresh outlook. Sarah discovered the value in doing something because you want to, not because someone else dictates you should.
Editors’ Note: Then and Now will be a weekly running column.