Friday, July 12, 2013

You Never Know Until You Try

This is the last night I will be at Cornell. It’s such a bittersweet moment. On one hand, I can’t wait to get back home. On the other hand, I’m going to miss it here so much. I’ve learned so much and I’ve made some great friends. I won’t be able to meet up with those in my cohort just by walking across the street or even up the stairs. Sure there’s the phone and the internet, but it’s just not the same as seeing someone face to face. 

My group (from left): Max, Amanda, Helen, and myself
We hotelies turned in our final reports by noon today and we had the rest of the day to ourselves. Before we put the finishing touches on our reports though, Reneta put together a slideshow that was quite inspirational. She told us that failure is just a better chance at success. Every time we fail, it’s not bad but good because then we’d be able to learn. Through this learning, we’ll be able to improve ourselves and work harder. I’m sure she didn’t mean that failing on purpose is ok. If a person has worked his or her hardest and “failed,” they should put themselves down because the “failure” is just a chance for them to better themselves. She also told us to think positively. If we make mistakes, we shouldn’t bash and insult ourselves. We should just think that it’s odd of us to do something wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, so we should just move on from the mistake instead of overanalyzing it. 
It was such a great message because I know I always put myself down whenever I do something wrong. I think to myself, “Why am I so stupid? What’s wrong with me?” Reneta made me see that I should just think, “What an odd thing for me to do.” This way, I’d be more positive. Also, I’m always so afraid of failure. However, I now understand that failing at something is ok as long as I tried my hardest. It sounds odd because everyone should aim to be the best. Of course I’m still aiming to do well! I’m just going to be more positive and take it as a learning experience if I don’t end up being the best. 
Statler Hall
I’m going to miss all this learning from Reneta and Mark in Statler Hall. The class has been stressful and demanding, but I know that in the end, it’ll all be worth it. Like Yueming, I’ll look at the big picture and know that I’m going to be successful after all this struggle. 
Helen and I posing in front of the Cornell Chimes.
I’m also going to miss my group mate Helen very much. Over the past few weeks, we’ve grown quite close and we always had the other’s back. If something in class was difficult, we’d work on it together. If there was something I was confused about for our group work, she’d definitely help me. I’d do the same for her. She’s told me so much about what her life was like and I was so amazed. She couldn’t have a sibling because there is a fee for those in China to have more than one child. Her school’s dean wants students to be so successful that there are programs offered at school that helps students do better on the SATs. It makes me wish my school would provide this kind of SAT help too. With the SAT help, I’m sure more students from my school would go to better schools. There’s so much I’ve learned from her and I’m so glad to have met her. 
On our last day together, we explored the campus with Jenna, Christian, and Gloria. It was fun because we never had time to do things besides work in the lab. The buildings we saw were so beautiful! We even saw beautiful views. The campus felt a little different after exploring it more. For the past three weeks, I’ve walked the same path over and over. I’d just walk to the dining hall (RPCC), my dorm hall (Risley Hall), and the hotel building (Statler). It was like I was not broadening my horizons. It’s very similar to how I was before the ILC gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons.

The big thing I learned today was that you don’t know until you try. Reneta emphasized how we need to make mistakes to really know and learn something. I also found that Cornell is actually a very beautiful school, but I wouldn’t have known unless I stepped out of my comfort zone. I wouldn't know what the East Coast is like unless I went there and saw for myself. I’m going to miss this place so much. I’m very glad I had the privilege to learn so much. Thank you ILC! I can't wait to share my experience with others!
(From right) Helen, Gloria, Jenna, Christian, and I posing with the Cornell University sign.

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