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Impact Fellowship Blog

A Box- Noa Helmbrecht

A Box: a square or rectangular container with stiff sides, and sometimes a lid (Cambridge Dictionary). 

Until coming to AMHSI, I was living in a box. Contained by the walls of my room, my house, my classroom, my school, and my friends. My box had a lid and it was always cool to peek out from the lid to see what was going on outside my box, however I never left the comfort of my box. Inside my box I was taught how to survive; strive to make it through school with A’s, find friends who got me through tough times, pick-up sports that I could use as an outlet, and engage in hobbies that interested me. Never did I experience what it was like to live. I can say with certainty now, I have lived. Every day I have spent in Israel, I have lived. I found the truth about education, friends, and happiness. So I'll give you a little story about each topic to give you a glimpse into life here and my experience so far. 

Education: the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction (Oxford Languages). 

For my whole life this has been an accurate definition of my perspective of education. I now know this is just one of many ways you can be educated. Education does not have to be done through a fixed plan or system. At AMHSI our education is spontaneous and enjoyable. My Israeli studies teacher, Michael, will often go on tangents each class to answer questions we may have or teach us about an interesting fact. The tangents he goes on are often some of the most interesting parts of class, because they stray from the book. Learning here is also done with passion. Each teacher strives to share their passion of learning with us and because of this I have myself now developed a deep passion for learning that I wake up every morning excited to go to class. Learning is also done in so many different forms; whether it's taking notes, hiking for 4 days across Israel, or just having a conversation with others, I am always learning something. Through this I have come to understand that there are many ways of learning that can be just as effective, if not more, than sitting in a classroom. 

Friendship: a state of enduring affection, esteem, and trust between two or more people (Britannica)

My school friends have always been people in my grade, usually who I have classes with, or who have similar interests as me. Here, friendship has a whole different meaning. It doesn't matter whether you have had a single conversation with someone or talk to them everyday, you have a connection with everyone here. We all have things in common, but the best part is that because we are all from different places in America, we all bring something different to AMHSI. The friends I have made here are my family. The people I have met here make me smile when I see them, laugh until my stomach hurts, and know how to lift me up so that I can reach the sky. Here you form connections with people because you like to workout together, or they are your roommates, or you both arrived at breakfast at the same time. The people I have met here will forever leave an impact on me, and have set a new standard for what I consider to be a friend. 

Happiness: that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can't help but smile (

Never in my life have I experienced such pure happiness. An example of a time I have been truly happy is on the last day of our Yam L’Yam hike. We did an activity where everyone walked slightly separated from each other and in silence. As I was walking in silence and taking in the view of sandpaper colored mountains, lime green trees, and a baby blue sky, I was thinking to myself how most students would be sitting in a classroom. At that moment I knew I was so privileged to be adventuring with my friends. I couldn't stop smiling and nothing at that point could have been better. I also enjoyed the silence, because it wasn't a lonely one. I was surrounded by people who comforted me and because of this, being with my own thoughts wasn't uncomfortable. I am now able to find happiness in the smallest moments. I love sitting outside and doing my homework while the sun is setting, or swinging in the hammocks with my friends, or even cleaning my room while listening to music. Here, life is good. So until next time, may you find friends who make you glow, receive education that helps you grow, and remember a journey of 100 miles starts with a single step. 

Noa Helmbrecht