Monday, July 30, 2012

I Am My Own Enemy

Its been a week now since my amazing Brown experience. This summer has definitely been one of the best because of the people I met, touring different schools, and learning things about myself that has not been clear to me. I am sad to say that this experience is only a memory now because I remember when I was living it day by day. From this great experience I have drawn out the skills that will help me from now on; mentioning my ideas, being socially active, and everyone has a story so I should always be capable of listening. Considering that this was my first time in the East Coast, the Summer@Brown program was a great kickoff. I would not have imagined it any different because of the qualities I gained and the vast amount of knowledge I gained from Kisa Takesue. Overall, the Women and Leadership class was a great easy for me to develop a new perspective about women and life.

The first week was absolutely great because of the colleges our cohort toured. I learned that all of these schools, Wellesley, Dartmouth, Brandies, and Harvard are amazing academically and have their own philosophy on learning. When I first found out I had the opportunity to tour schools my first instinct was, "For what, I would never get into any of these schools." Now, I say to myself, "Anything is possible!" Getting to sit down with current students, alumni, and admissions officer has given me a new perspective of East Coast school. Because of the Ivy League Connection I have the courage to apply to these schools. Visiting these schools have been mind blowing because of the students I learned from in a short amount of time and knowing that I do not have to know what I want to do with my life when I go to college. A major take back from these colleges is that even though I may not have it figured out yet, the pieces will fall into place as I find what I love to do.

The Women and Leadership has taught me so many things. I never thought of Kisa as the "teacher" because she was apart of the class, made my experience memorable through her involvement with the class, her feedback was very constructive, and I learned from other people as well. My peers taught me the value of listening and their outlook on life. I have never met a group so profound and passionate about what they were learning. From this class I was able to explore my own mind because of the challenges it created for me. I learned what kind of leader I am, my new found opinions, and that I am my own enemy.

The program challenged me to live like a college student. I was able to experience the food, dorm life, and most of all the students. Living like a college student had taught me that I have to make the best out of my experience. On the other hand, you aren't going to college for the luxurious dorms, you are going to college for an education. That being said, I did not let the dorms affect me as much.

Learning from peers, advice from Kisa, and support from the entire class I was able to create an action plan that relates to my own struggle. As a freshman in high school I always struggled finding my place and have been ridiculed for it. I wanted to bring my own experience to help freshmen comprehend diversity. From my observations freshmen often are pressured into drugs, gangs, alcohol, and skipping class to "fit in" or be "cool". I want to showcase the diversity among the freshmen class so the pressure of being "cool" is nonexistent. My first step is to get the administration on board with my plan and agree to move forward. Next I will be creating a survey where 9th grade students will address the problem they see within their own class and how do they think it can be fixed. Following will be a panel of students who have experienced the problems the 9th grade students have identified in the survey. Lastly, the freshmen class will be creating a quilt where they become united through their cultural and moral differences. In order to determine success, I plan to hand out evaluation forms where these students and staff can rate the experience, mention what I could have done better, and what they got out of this experience.

In retrospect, without the Ivy league connections Big Three this whole Summer@Brown would not have been possible. This summer has impacted my life vastly; the people I met, the things I learned about myself, new observations and opinions, and new grown confidence. Now that I am back in California I can implement my action plan and incorporate the skills I learned into my daily life. Most of all, I am going to tell people that they should really apply to the ILC because they have really opened my eyes and doors for me. In closing, anything is possible and I need to be my own best friend.

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