I’ve gained so much through the Ivy League Connection. From applying to actually going on the trip, I never stopped learning.
I remember when I wrote my essays, I thought long and hard about how I should approach the prompts. After submitting the essays, I was notified that I got an interview because there weren’t a lot of people that applied. Though I didn’t get in the first time I interviewed, I got in the second time. The major difference between the two interviews was that I was myself in the second interview. For the first, I remember being scared and nervous, which didn’t help me in being myself. After I knew what to expect, the second interview was easier. I wasn’t as scared and I had much more to say because I wasn’t nervous anymore.
I learned that it was important to be myself when interviewing because it really makes me stand out. If I continued to talk like a robot and not share my true thoughts, how would I prove that I was a great choice for the ILC? Talking in front of strangers was difficult at first, but after a while, it wasn’t too bad.
At the dinner, Board Meeting, and Council Meetings, many of the ILCers had to speak. For myself, I spoke at the dinner and at two council meetings. It was nerve wracking in the beginning, but after speaking for the first time at the Pinole Council Meeting, I was more comfortable speaking in public. After all, practice makes perfect.
When we were actually going to Chicago and Ithaca, I’ve learned a lot as well. We visited and toured the campuses of the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Both schools have small class sizes, which is very different from schools in the UC system. It made me want to go to school where the class sizes were smaller.
At Cornell, I met so many different people from all over the world. It turns out that what I once thought was reality really isn’t. For example, television shows don’t show what the world is really like. People in New Jersey don’t really have a Jersey accent.
Also, we Americans are very fortunate to have so many opportunities. Some countries don’t give people as many rights. For example, in China, citizens aren’t allowed to have a Facebook. I found it really odd to prevent people from having a way to keep in touch with others. However, I also know that there are definitely reasons as to why the Chinese government is so strict. I’m just glad that I have the right to choose whether or not I have a Facebook.
Throughout this entire ILC experience, I’ve been treated as an adult. I interviewed to be an ambassador like an adult interviews for a job. I showed up on time to events that required my presence just as an adult should be on time to everything. I followed directions and rules just as an adult would be expected to. I’ve also become quite independent. I did my own laundry, fed myself, and kept myself healthy while I was at Cornell.
I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity to be a part of the Ivy League Connection. I’ve learned a lot and my horizons have been broadened. I find myself viewing situations in different ways and I’m grateful for many things I wasn’t grateful for before. Now that I’m back, I’ll definitely be convincing others to apply to be an ILCer as well. Thanks to all those who support the Ivy League Connection for this great experience!