Saturday, July 28, 2012

It Doesn't Stop Here

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to San Francisco. We hope you enjoy your stay. The weather is…”  We’re finally home, I thought to myself as the plane touched down on San Francisco International Airport. I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and run to my family. But here I am now, almost a week later, sitting in my living room with the biggest desire to relive the past three weeks.
What those three weeks mean to me is unexplainable. I’ve been sitting in front of this laptop screen for over three hours. As you can see, reflecting on what I call “the best summer of my life” isn’t easy. There are so many things to say, so many feelings to convey. 
Let’s start off with how it affected me academically. Just the first week of the Ivy League trip, where we visited colleges and had dinners with alums, I was already changed. I never would have considered going away for college because I thought that the UCs around my area will be just fine, but now I want to aim higher and get into an Ivy League college. The ILC effectively exposed us to this new horizon by not only showing us how beautiful the East Coast is, but also by showing us how capable anyone from the WCCUSD is in getting in these schools. The endless information sessions with alums or college students made the whole trip more personal, which I tremendously appreciated. I don't think the Women & Leadership course was as rigorous as other Summer@Brown programs, simply because I felt that we had more classroom time and discussion activities than we had homework. But this doesn't mean that it wasn't a wake up call. It's definitely different from the work I was used to doing at home. The due dates and the different research assignments truly tested my time management skills. Did I mention I had to fit blogging about my whole day in between? I had to balance the time I was  given after class and before our curfew. I met so many amazing people form all over the world (literally) and it was easy to ignore my assignments and to go about Thayer St without worrying about them. 

In the end, I realized how important time management is. It's a skill that will get you far in life.  Being organized and prioritizing what is needed to be done in a day is something I will always try to do. It only amounts to a productive day! During the last day at Brown, I also realized how important blogging is. With what the Ivy League has given me, I don't mind doing anything else for it. Blogging, though sometimes annoying, is worth it. I found myself liking it. I found it fun to reflect on my day and what I loved (or hated) about it. I'm glad I was able to share the experience with people from all over the world.

Personally, the Ivy League Connection changed the way I think about myself. I found how important perseverance is. I gained confidence. I found out a little bit of myself along the way. I would have never had the courage to step out of California a year ago. I feel stronger and wiser. I faced the unknown and fortunately came back with so much more to offer the world. I want to help my community reach the heights the ILC helped me reach. Even if I do apply to some Ivy League colleges, and even if I don't get accepted, I'll be alright. Through the ILC, I learned that trying is all that matters. As long as I can say that I tried, then I'll be proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to thank the people who made this possible for me. Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, and Don deserve all the credit for the work they've put in for us. Without their perseverance, nothing would have been possible. I look up to these three because they've inspired me to take on something bigger than me. I can still remember tearing up during our huge dinner in Boston, where Mr. Ramsey talked about the ILC in front of everyone. I loved hearing him talk about it and about the WCCUSD because he doesn't look down on how "unprivileged" we are back home, but instead sees our potential. His passion for helping better where he came from.. that's something that I can't ever forget.

I hope to implement my action plan and impact my community just as much as the Ivy League Connection had impacted me. It doesn't stop here. I have a million more miles to go, but now I know that I have the ability to persevere through any obstacle along the way.

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