The time that we, the Sustainable Education class, spent raking this past November has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult tasks we’ve ever encountered. I, myself, frequently struggled with the physical aspects of raking. As someone who could not even successfully complete a full-body pushup when we started, I had a very tough time in the beginning when it came to pulling my weight and completing my share of the manual labor. The first few jobs we did, I felt like I was going to pass out after only fifteen minutes of raking. As we raked more and more lawns, I could feel myself getting stronger as the work gradually became a little less difficult. What surprised me, though, was not the physical strength that I gained from all of this, but my own personal strength and self-discipline. Although I was not interested in joining last year’s Costa Rica class, I was one of the first people to sign up for this year’s (at the time the destination was undecided) class. What changed my mind? I’ve said this to my teacher, Bryan, from the start: I don’t care where we go. I didn’t join this class just so that I could go on some awesome trip (okay…that was part of the reason), but mostly I joined this class because I knew it would be an experience like no other. I’m not talking about travel; I’m talking about personal growth. Knowing upfront how hard it was going to be, I was really counting on this year to be my last chance before I graduate (I’m a senior) where I could really fine-tune and develop the life skills necessary for when I enter adulthood. I was incredibly proud of myself at how hard I worked while we were out raking; especially the way I was able to push myself farther than I ever have or even knew I could. Overall, this has been a most rewarding experience for me in both personal growth and self-dedication, and we’re not even halfway through the year, yet. I feel like I, personally, as well as our whole class have come so far and accomplished so much in these last couple of months. I cannot wait to see what type of people we will have become when we go to Puerto Rico.