Sunday, August 26, 2012

Episode IV: A New Haven

Today I took yet another step in the massive, now 4-part journey that is my experience with the ILC. I found it fitting that this fourth step (and final step in high school, but not even close to my final step with the ILC for the rest of my life) was with Yale, as that is where it originally began. I was fascinated with Yale my sophomore year, and was ecstatic when I was selected for the Grand Strategy course. Unfortunately, I was too young to enroll in the program and ended up going to Cornell instead, and had a wonderful experience there. This summer (as you can probably tell from me posting this on the Brown blog) I had the privilege of attending a course at Brown, again thanks to the ILC. By the end of the course, I started to regret that I wouldn't get to be a part of this amazing program again. So naturally, when Mr. Ramsey and Don sent out an e-mail inviting some ILCers to a brunch at the Olympic Club as part of the Brown and now Yale Mentor program, I jumped at the opportunity. I decided I wanted to be a part of the Yale program, as I believed it was a much better fit for me, and I really just wanted to learn more about the school.

When I woke up this morning, I realized two pretty important things: One, it was my sister's birthday and I had completely forgotten to write in her birthday card even though she'd be opening presents in about two minutes. And two, today I was heading into the first ILC event that I knew next to nothing about. I always had some idea of what to expect at past ILC functions, from dinners with alums to the school board meetings and so on, but I really didn't no what to expect here. Would this become a 3 and a half hour info session on the college application process? Would it just be dozens of alums attempting to convince me to apply to a school I'm already set on applying to? A third possibility never even crossed my mind, as I usually tend to expect the worst of things I know nothing about. Luckily for me, the event ended up being a perfect blend of the two, with a lot of just getting to know people mixed in. 

All the Yale alums I got a chance to speak with were kind, informative, and just as ridiculously intelligent as you'd expect them to be. This made for great conversations throughout the event, but I unfortunately realized at the end of the event that these brilliant people are who Yale expects to find in their sea of applicants, which ended up making Yale even more intimidating of a school than it already was. Aside from this one somewhat sad realization, the brunch was incredible! All these alums were young enough to understand just how competitive the college application process is now, and I was oddly reassured by the fact that, according to Andrew (Yale Class of '11), it's all pretty random. As a student who was accepted at Yale and MIT yet rejected by UC Berkeley, it completely made sense that he would feel that way, and that made me feel much better about the fact that I will get rejected by schools, and that's perfectly fine, I just have to hope my dream schools aren't the ones that reject me. I can't wait to start working closely with all the great people I met, and the I'm already counting down the days until the A's game September 30th where we'll meet up yet again.

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