As I forced the zipper closed on my ridiculously over-packed suitcase, it finally dawned on me that this is my last night of summer vacation. Tomorrow, well in five hours, my journey to the East Coast begins.
I remember feeling almost exactly the same way last year when I participated in the ILC program at Cornell University, but this year is even better. I know (somewhat) what to expect, and how fun and life-changing it will be. Years ago when I first heard Don talk about this program he described it essentially as two weeks in a teenager's hell: school all day, hot weather and no AC, thousands of pages of reading, zero to two hours of sleep per night, and you get to do it all in suits! (Great sales pitch by the way, Don) Yet, for some reason I decided that was the program I wanted to do, so last year I did Cornell, my practice run. I had a fantastic time, and learned to live and work alone, but a class called "Freedom and Justice" can only be so rigorous. Now the real work begins.
The Studies in Grand Strategies Program had a change of management, so we are not sure exactly what to expect, but so far it seems that the clothing policy is more lax and the preclass required reading is less than previous years. We do not yet know if the actual course will be less rigorous however. Personally I do not mind either way. If the class is easier then I have more time to explore college life, and if it is just as difficult or more so then I will be challenged and forced to grow academically which will prepare me for my senior year and college. I am very excited to find out what the class is like, and look forward to blogging about it. However due to Yale's policies and the rigor of the course students are not allowed to blog, so you will have to wait to hear about our experiences until we leave.
Although this will be the most significant part of my summer, it has not been uneventful so far. I began my break with a camp hosted by Cal Berkeley designed to help rising seniors with the college admissions process, which was a huge help and a lot of fun. After that I filled my time with all the things I love: my family, my girlfriend, my friends, kung fu, and lots of reading. It was a blast! Yale, however, was always in the back of my mind.
Now it is here, the moment I have been waiting for for two years. If someone had told me years ago that my senior year of high school would begin with a class at Yale, I would never have believed them, but due to the ILC and my own determination, that unimaginable future became a reality, and I am ready to make it in to an experience that I will never forget.