By Chloe – 2nd year student
1.5 years, 12 blocks, countless learning experiences in and out of the classroom – and now I’m in Question block trying to wrap my head around everything I have learned that has gotten me excited to keep learning, and somehow format it into a single question to direct my education for the next 2.5 years. Phew. It feels overwhelming, inspiring, engaging, terrifying, wonderful, and as many other adjectives as there are possibilities for questions. In some moments it is a stressful idea – this is the crux of my educational future at Quest and that feels like a very big deal. However, in most moments it feels exhilarating.
This is what I came here for – to create an education instead of subscribing to one. I picked Quest because the idea of getting to lay out exactly what I want to learn and what I want to get out of my education is such an incredible opportunity. And now this is it – this is the month where I get to read and think and discuss and question! This is the month where I get to lay it all out.
I love being in class this month – there are nine of us, all studying completely different topics, from “What is fire?” to “Is it all in my head?” to my own question: “Sex?”. I arrive every morning thrilled to hear where people’s questions are going and what they have read or realized since the day before. Question block is reminding me of every reason I fell in love with this school – there is nothing more powerful, inspiring, engaging, and wonderful than seeing people’s eyes light up with passion when they start talking about something they love and are excited about… and I love knowing that my eyes light up the same way when I get to talk about mine.
I often think back on the path I have taken since I started here at Quest. I am not the same person that I was. My time at Quest, with all its ups and downs and clouds and silver linings, has changed me in ways I could not have predicted. I am stronger, more passionate, more assured, and happier. I look different, feel different, and think differently.
It took me a while to figure out the phrasing of my question, and being in that state of not-knowing came with a lot of anxiety and a few existential crises. But as I worked to figure it out, I got to read all the things that I wanted to read, and I got to have powerful, personal conversations with people of all varieties. That not-knowing gave me the drive and the opportunity to fill pages with thoughts and facts and passion – not-knowing gave me the chance to figure it out. I got to think and read about evolution and adaptation and sexual selection and all the things that I have thought about and begun to learn about and now I get to not only dedicate my studies to them for this month, but I get to plan out the dedication of the rest of my undergraduate education to these things that fascinate me.
I have loved the last year and a half of foundation classes – learning about all varieties of topics and growing as a person as my breadth of knowledge grows. I have loved taking classes in the subjects I knew that I loved and I have loved taking classes in the subjects I thought I would have hated. It has been a whirlwind of a journey full of wonder and every moment has been valuable.
But now, in Question, I am getting to the core of why I came to Quest – and it is thrilling. Every meeting I have with a Tutor about books I could read, projects I could pursue, or channels I could direct my thinking down leaves me overflowing with excitement. Every article I read and understand gives me pride in the knowledge that I have already obtained, and every article I don’t understand refuels my passion to learn the myriad of things I haven’t even discovered I don’t know yet.
Preparing for my question presentation – the moment you get to share your question with friends, peers, mentors, and strangers – felt daunting and exciting. Deciding your question and designing your plan to pursue it often feels like staring at a door you can’t figure out how to open – Question block asks you to identify something that you don’t know, but want to, and then learn enough about it to describe all the things that you don’t know and how you plan on knowing them, but you have to determine all those things without actually knowing anything about them. It is difficult and a lot of the process can feel overwhelming, but it is also the most exciting journey that I have ever had the opportunity to take part in.
And when it finally came to standing on the stage of the MPR to present my question, I felt nothing but that excitement. It is a moment of passion and competence, intrigue and fascination, answers and questions.
Quest is an incredible place. Going to school here has fueled passion back into my education, given me the opportunities to create and explore, and shaped me into the kind of student that I was inspired by when I first visited Quest years before I came here– someone who is full of questions and is itching to find their answers.
Creating my own questions has been a process of reflection, enthusiasm, passion, and anticipation. It has been a moment that has felt simultaneously like the destination of my journey here at Quest and like the beginning of an entirely new quest- a choose-your-own-adventure kind.