Editor’s note: This week’s blog post comes to you courtesy of Arianna, a camper at YPI 2013.
YPI – It is definitely not just a place. YPI to me is a place to step away from the real world. It is a place where I can let all of my burdens float away and have new memories sink in. When I am here, I feel like I don’t need to critique every outfit and perfect my image because I know that everyone will accept me for who I really am.
When I first stepped foot into this place, I knew I would become accepted by being welcomed with warm smiles and the comforting gestures. Here I realized that I truly belong, not only because everyone accepts me, but because everyone here understands me and is there for me. I am surrounded by such inspirational people that push and challenge me to be the person that I really am, or as they would call it this is a place “where the inside comes out.”
One memory I have that will always stay with me is the time when it was 10:45 at night, and everyone is outside of their dorms in a huge circle joined hand by hand singing the song “I’ll Be.” This really touched me because this was when I realized that I have found the place where I truly fit in.
If I could say anything to have the rest of us maintain the YPI “state of mind” throughout the year, I would say to accept others and encourage them to pursue any hopes and dreams that they may have, no matter how big or small. Also I would say to enjoy every moment but never be afraid to reach out and try new things.
Stepping out of your comfort zone sometimes is the key. This past year at YPI I stepped out of my comfort zone, and I decided to sing at open mic night. I may not be much of a singer, but it was a chance I was willing to take because I knew that everyone there would help me along and accept the fact that I am stretching my limits.
Overall this place is my home, and every person that comes is a part of my family. I love each and every one of them, and even though I may seem sort of crazy every once in a while, we all love each other, and nothing can ever change that!