A midrash tells us that when the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea, they felt trapped between the vast waters and the approaching Egyptians.
It took a member of the community, Nahshon, to take those first steps into the water. Ultimately, Nahshon’s leadership inspired the community to trust each other, causing the seas to part and enabling their passage to safety.
This time of year, like the Israelites, students may find themselves looking ahead at the vast unknown of the summer, while still amidst their finals and piles of homework. Although it may seem easier to stay in this comfortably unpleasant state, sometimes it takes one student to take the first step, inspiring those around them to do so as well.
As our school year comes to a close, may we all inspire those around us to take the first step into the unknown.
Allie Conn Kanter is Director of Engagement at Columbia/Barnard Hillel. Jackie Brown is a first-year student at Columbia University.