Reflections: A Hunger for Knowledge

On our first day of High School Summer Launch, we rushed into Dunker Hall anxious to find a seat up front. Twenty minutes early, we were right on time. In one swift motion, we retrieved our laptops and prepared for our first morning session with one goal in mind: record as much information as possible. Just as our guest speaker drew a breath, a chorus of fervent typing drowned out her words. Director Baker broke into an amused smile and stopped us in our tracks. She kindly explained to simply listen. I hesitantly put my device away.

Dr. Peabody was our guest speaker that morning. She shared stories of WashU alumni who skillfully combined their interests to create change in their communities. The story of a student from Afghanistan studying international affairs and history resonated with me. As I sat and listened, I was reminded of my 5th-grade self, scouring the public library for books on ancient Mesopotamia, hoping to discover my roots. My imagination ran wild deciphering tales of Gilgamesh; images of flourishing Babylonian cities flashed across my mind. Suddenly, I ached to be ten years old again, curious, unapologetically hungry for knowledge. What do I truly love? What impact do I want to make? These were the questions I asked myself that morning and throughout the week.

I hope that someday, my friends and I will rush into a college class with the same eagerness and anticipation as the first day of this program. Not driven by fear but by an unyielding enthusiasm to learn: a passion propelling us into our futures.


This essay is one of the winning submissions from our 2023 Student Reflection Essay contest.