Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Mulan Moment

The Ivy League Connection has been more than just a 'scholarship program', as I've been forced to simplify it down to when I'm trying to explain where I've been for the last month. When I tell my friends about the daily blog, and having to give a speech with less than a day to prepare, they say that they're not too upset about this lost opportunity; but I know, that as rising seniors, they should be. 

I didn't just go to Brown to take a class. With enough wealth, most anyone could do it. What I did get out of the ILC (this is hidden in it's name) was the connections to really get a feel for the school. Meeting both alums and current students has been eye-opening, and not always in a positive way. Each of the school we visited obviously had their strong upsides, but there were always a few lingering questions that I wanted to know the answers to before I started choosing schools to apply to. I've learned, throughout the course of this trip, that you can ask questions, and there are people there to answer. I know this won't always be true, but it certainly was during the class, as well as when we were visiting schools. 

Meeting so many new people hasn't happened for me since I jumped from 6th grade to Portola Middle school. Luckily, this transition was much easier. There were many more scholarship students than I had thought there would be, but a lot of them were, in the best way, pretty much what I had expected. After hearing my sister's stories about the wealthy kids who attend her school, I wasn't surprised to find fellow students who weren't familiar with washing their own clothes. But after spending three weeks with them, I've definitely developed a new gratefulness to my parents for teaching me how to become more self-sufficient than the apparent majority of teens. 

I especially loved going to visit the other schools. Without those experiences, I know that I would have even less of a clue of what I am looking for in a college. Unfortunately, because of my school's counselor's limited time, I never got to discuss with them where I should look for a college that would fit me. Thanks to this trip, I now have the motivation and ability to ask the questions that will determine whether or not I think that a specific school is right for me. 

In my reflection, I can easily see that the Ivy League connection has been more than just a 'scholarship program', it has been an amazing, enriching, experience that I firmly believe will enable me to choose the right school, as well as apply and be accepted.

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