After Commencement in Annapolis, graduating senior Nutchapol Boonparlit (A14) plans to follow in his father’s footsteps. Originally from Thailand, Boonparlit, whose father is a career diplomat currently posted in Mexico City, will return home to Bangkok to study for Thailand’s Foreign Service exam. He will spend the next few months “brushing up on my native language, current affairs, and studying [the country’s] domestic and foreign policy and current political situation,” says Boonparlit. “The discussion-based classes at St. John’s provided excellent training for a career as a Foreign Service officer. A lot of learning happens when you hit those walls [of communication] and you get frustrated. I feel that I went through a lot of that at St. John’s, and it taught me to be more open-minded and sympathetic, not just intellectually but also socially. I’ve become more aware of human relations and interactions. [St. John’s] helped me become a better person and care more about the people around me.”
Facing new challenges has been an important part of Boonparlit’s education. During the past four years, he wrote for the college’s admissions blog, contributed interviews and stories to The College alumni magazine, and even took up sailing during his freshman year—one of the things at St. John’s he will miss most of all. “Sailing is definitely thrilling, but it was the fun I had with everyone else on the team that really made it enjoyable,” says Boonparlit. He considers his experience learning the sport a metaphor for life. “There are always people who know more than you, so you have to accept that and trust them to teach you,” says Boonparlit, who awaits the new challenges that lie ahead. “I’m most excited about getting out into the real world and doing something that makes a difference.”
"It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity."
- W.E.B. Du Bois