This past weekend, I attended my last Posse Plus Retreat (tears). For those who may not be aware, the Posse Plus Retreat (PPR) is an amazing experience where current Posse Scholars are tasked with inviting students, faculty, and staff to engage in meaningful and relevant conversations centered around current issues facing our society and campus. This year’s topic (US vs THEM ) was an interesting one. It constantly asked the question of, “how do you self-identify,” and provoked a certain curiosity of the world that may not necessarily fit into what we classify as one of our identities (US), ultimately labeling it as an outcast or “THEM.”
Every year the retreat provides the best opportunities to sit and engage in some uncomfortable conversations, that not only challenge me but also gives me the opportunity to grow as an individual. Some of the topics we discussed focused on how I self-identify, how we believe others identify us, what labels we create for ourselves and for others, understanding identities within gender, sex, and sexual orientation, just to name a few. The retreat encourages open dialogue, pushes you to dig deep into your own personal experiences, which help guide the conversations to a point of understanding. In my opinion, I consider PPR to be my psychiatrist. It prompts me to think of a variety of experiences, then, responds to me with either confirmation, asking for clarity, or rebuttals. I always feel recharged and focused after leaving the retreat. Ready to head back to campus and hold these important conversations with some colleagues that may not have been able to attend.
Ultimately, PPR is a phenomenal experience that I wish everyone had an opportunity to receive. It always has a unique way of pushing you to the boundaries of your comfort zone, only to bring reassurance and assistance along that outer edge, and let you know that you are not alone. This retreat has allowed me to grow my comfort zone, listen to other’s opposing perspectives, and what it means to truly be comfortable with how I identify myself. This is how I made it count!
For more information on the Posse Foundation check out this link: Posse Foundation