Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Prodigious Adventure

I remember when I got called out of class for a special meeting. I had no idea as to the topic of what it was going to be about. It turned out to be The Ivy League Connection. Mr. Mannix and Ms. Jan told me that it was a program established for outstanding students to get a chance to experience college at the East Coast particularly in the most prestigious universities in the U.S, the Ivies. It was all fun talk until Don mentioned the essays and the interviews that were required as prerequisites. I immediately thought about how it was too much work. I didn't think of applying either. I knew that other bright and intelligent students were also going to apply. "Why would they choose me?", "I'm not good enough", "There isn't anything special about me." These were some thoughts that existed in my mind.

If it wasn't for Ms. Jan pushing me to apply and Don's hard work, I would not be writing this blog at this moment. I would have never gotten the opportunity to take a class at Brown University nor visit other amazing universities. I would have never considered an Ivy League school as somewhere to go to for college before this life-changing program.

When the day of the interview arrived, I was quite shaky. I knew that I wanted that scholarship. After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for the results, the panelists had made up their minds. They announced who they were going to award the scholarships to and my mind went blank. "Wendy, Diana, and Esme." It didn't hit me until the three of us were walking to the other room. We were all shocked.

I knew that this was going to change my life forever. Prior to my acceptance, I had searched up
images of Brown University's campus. I imagined myself attending Brown University but I quickly snapped out of it realizing how unrealistic that was. I now have a different mindset. Everything is possible in my opinion.

When my cohort and I had arrived at Rhode Island, it was sweltering hot. We had to carry our luggage all over the airport but it didn't matter. We were all excited for what was yet to come.

 It was a silent ride to Brown University. Once there, we checked in and got our dorm keys. Through the heat and the sweat we walked to our assigned residential hall, Perkins. This was it.

I wasn't feeling so well. My cohort and I had arrived earlier than the other students so we were alone in our dorms. I felt kind of home-sick and very lonely. That feeling disappeared when class began.

I was anxious for the first day. I had expected class to consist of my teacher standing up and giving lectures while we took notes leading to a test of some sort but I was completely wrong. The class was set up seminar-style. It was discussion based and not only were all of the students involved but everyone was passionate as well.

These past two weeks have been out of this world. I discovered things about myself that I was not aware of. I dug in the darkest corners of my self and faced things that I was trying to avoid. I broadened my point of view. I let out some of the baggage that I carry everyday. I felt safe and comfortable in the space that all of the individuals from different countries and states shared. I felt like I was able to be myself without judgement. Unlike my high school, where if you were to share your opinion you'd probably get unfairly judged.

Everyday I learned something new. Every individual had different perspectives and ideas which just enhanced the classroom. I will never forget Dean Almandrez, my instructor, whom I will forever cherish and my TA, Tory whom was always there for everyone whenever we needed something.

The workshops helped me flourish as well. Not only did I learn how to be an effective listener from Kisa but I also learned how to be more open-minded. I learned things about my team-mates that I would have never known. I feel like a different person and I am never going to forget this experience. There is going to be some Women and Leadership wherever I go.

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