Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Great Journey Coming to the End...

I remember the day of my interview for the Ivy League Connection. I was one of the nine who were emailed to get interviewed to go to Vanderbilt for the summer. I was so nervous and my hands began to get clammy. I saw students who were chosen come in with this bold confidence that I thought I didn't have. Don called me to go first and I walked in to the classroom corridor to my interview, not knowing that later that corridor was my door to one of the best opportunities of my life.

Being part of the Ivy League Connection has wonderfully opened me to a whole new set of opportunities. If I was asked whether I wanted to go to a college in the East Coast or out of state overall before the Ivy League Connection, I would have said no. The Ivy League Connection has allowed me to see what the East Coast is really like and clear any misconceptions I had about it. I have broaden my knowledge about the schools there and I have experienced great things.

Every event the that the Ivy League Connections sponsors has a point and meaning to it and reflecting back, I know what I have learned from them. For example, the dinners were very useful and helpful. Looking back, not only did I remember the delicious food I ate but I also remembered all the interesting people I met. Those people included: alumni, students, sponsors, and admission administrators. Although they were making sure they were selling their school to us, they also were able to help me understand certain aspects of going to school on the East Coast on a larger scale.

The first dinner with the Vanderbilt alumni.

My favorite dinner was the Georgetown dinner. I felt as if that I connected with everyone very well. I thought out of all the dinners, I connected with the students there the most. I have great contact with them and they helped me understand what I am looking for in colleges when I apply. We also discussed some tips about college applications and standardized testing, which will be useful to me soon.

Another important aspect of being part of the Ivy League Connection is that I was able to go on college tours. We had a college tour at Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown. Going on the college tours were helpful to me because I learned what colleges on the East Coast are looking for in students and what they require for them to apply. I also learned what the standardized testing requirements were to apply, which will be useful later. 

One thing that I realized was that most colleges take the ACT and the SAT. My school tells students, colleges prefer the SAT over ACT, therefore we aren't informed about the ACT at all. I want this to change because we need to understand what both the standardized testing are about and how to improve ourselves when we take them.

Although we had a chaperone, we were mainly independent for most of the trip. I had a lot of mixed feeling about being independent for the time. During the first week of the trip I realized that being independent was actually pretty nice. I liked having more control of my life and doing certain things for myself. Since I was farther away from home, it allowed me to understand that I can handle being away from home and I can take care of myself just as well. 

During the three weeks of session at VSA, I met some of the most amazing people and students. I loved working with students who were just as ambitious and driven. I don't usually get the chance to work with student who are just as motivated as I am. Working in a high thriving environment was different from the environment in my public school. In my class, Speicial Topics in Math, we  definitely explored different topics at a fast pace. I loved my class because we went over certain topics and theories in math that are never explained. For example, game theory, number theory, and the Fibonacci numbers. I admired how we were able to test out each theory and work on certain puzzlers that allowed us to understand why they work. Not only did I learn certain math topics but I also learned how to better myself as a student and skills that I can use later in my high school career. The classes I take at my regular public school can't compare with the experience I had in that class.

Me, Stephanie, Chiamaka, Abigail

My lovely cohort.

My cohort representing our love for Vanderbilt.

Me and these beautiful ladies.
Being part of the Vanderbilt Summer Academy was an amazing experience. I met students that taught me different things I never knew. I met people that made an ever-lasting impression on me. I will remember each and every wonderful soul that I have met. I will definitely stay in contact with them. I have been part of this great community of students who are just down right amazing. Being part of the VSA family, as we like to call it, is something that I can't forget nor let go because it has impacted my life.

The Ivy League Connection is hard work. It took a lot of effort and dedication to be part of this program. The process of being accepted was stressful, but it was worth it. Being a representative of the Ivy League Connection is something I take pride in. I have learned so much from this program and I have bettered myself as a student and as an individual. There is not enough ways to show my gratitude for the Ivy League Connection, their sponsors, my cohort, and my chaperone because they made it possible for me to have that best time of my life. I just can't wait to teach everyone what I've learned. I am so thankful to have been chosen for this opportunity and to be part of this great program.

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