Being a Prepare student was a life changing experience for me in more ways than one. I gained a strong sense of confidence in what my gendered body was capable of, and a newfound physical self-awareness. However, I will be the first to admit that recognizing my male privilege affected how I carried myself in the class, and how I was affected by the experience. Through the Basics course, I learned to effectively communicate my feelings and needs. Reflecting on my experience, the verbal portion of the class was by far the most challenging part. One of my biggest insecurities is verbal communication because I always fear that I will dominate conversation and detract from another person’s ability to share. The notion of using “I feel…” statements sounds so simple, but is actually a very difficult habit to adopt and helps foster self-reflection and mindfulness. I believe completing the Basics course has helped me grow immensely as both an activist and as a person.
I loved my Prepare experience so much, that I decided I wanted to try an internship as a class assistant. The transition from student to teacher is a difficult one to make under any circumstances, but despite feeling nervous about my immersion into this new experience, I was eager to learn all there is to know about the world of self-defense. As a Prepare intern, I have learned valuable skills that have made me both a better leader and a better student. I can take this experience with me to graduate school and my future career, making this internship experience impactful even beyond the academic sense. This in-depth experience with personal safety and violence prevention has encouraged me to pursue a career in violence prevention and education, and I could not thank the Prepare staff enough for their support and knowledge.
Keiran Wilson, Drew University