By Arla Sutton

I’m a master list maker—8 different lists are all currently in use on my phone, and I have a bullet journal almost entirely full of daily lists, weekly lists, and miscellaneous lists. One of the easiest ways to describe me, in a word, is organized.

Naturally, I was going through the notes app on my phone the other day, and I stumbled across one that was written on Sunday, June 23rd, simply titled “HOBY 2019.” I investigated, and, of course, it was a list. The first item? “Milk Cheer.” As I read through the 31 different sentimental moments from the seminar, I remembered the exact moment I had decided to make this list. I was sitting on the bus from the airport on the way home from the 2019 seminar, and I had just decided that I was going back to the HOBY seminar the next year, hopefully as a Junior Facilitator. You see, after my ambassador year in 2018, I convinced myself that I had to go back as a TA (of course, the HOBY high had something to do with that), but about halfway through the year and about 70% through my community service, I could barely remember why I had made myself that promise. I knew that I loved everything about my ambassador experience, but among everything else going on, why was this promise floating to the top? So, I told myself that I would go to the 2019 seminar, and figure things out from there. I booked my ferry, bus, and plane tickets, and made my way to Spokane.

On June 23rd, 2019, the day I wrote that note, I realized that I couldn’t not go back—once again. I also realized that this was going to become a cycle, and that I would end up going to HOBY every year for who knows how long. That’s why I wrote the note—it’s meant for those days when I am overwhelmed, when I need to make a few lists to manage my stress, and when I’m wondering why I’ve added HOBY to my list of things to do. It’s meant to remind me of the overwhelming inspiration I felt at both my ambassador and TA seminar, and remind me that the work is worth it to go back the next year and hopefully help to inspire one other person.

You might not have that list yet, because you’re just finding out about the endless cycle of HOBY seminars, but I encourage you to just make it back to this next seminar. Then you can make your list, and you can implant the memory of the HOBY love into your brain, and maybe come back another time.

Hopefully, I’ll see you in June!