National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 121–22


Copyright © 2022 Emma Labovitz


As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.

After graduating with my bachelors, I took a 6-month temporary job in Nepal working with a non-profit doing development research. While there I worked with a cohort of international and Nepali interns, and my fellow international expatriates continuously remarked on the ways life in Nepal bleeds into the streets. They pointed out that in much of the Western world, life is confined to our living rooms or patios, guarded by privacy fences. In Nepal, life has a less sterile rhythm. Neighbors always initiated greetings, offering Chia to be idly sipped over conversation. Life was inextricably intertwined, an increasing anomaly in the West as we retreat to the privacy of our single-family homes and, more recently, to the squares of our Zoom screens.