Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Adventure of a Lifetime

It still hasn’t registered that I spent the past three weeks studying at Cornell, one of the nation’s most prestigious universities. It is an opportunity that has genuinely enhanced my life and overall experience. I notice legitimate growth and change in my perspective, intellect, and character. This transformation has honestly been so exciting to witness.

The Clock Tower
I was never as independent as I would have liked to be. It’s not because my family members didn’t allow me. In fact, they have pushed me to excel every step of the way, but anxiety, self-doubt, and constant worrying wrecked my plans. Prior to visiting Ithaca, I worked on this part of my personality and was steadily figuring things out, but the trip helped me reach the level of comfort that I was striving for. 

Living on the sixth floor of South Balch Hall, a ghost town, and having to make my own choices was new. I learned important survival skills. This may seem silly, but the fact that it was up to me to figure out what time I wanted to go to sleep, do laundry, take out the trash, and work on assignments taught me to grow up or have to deal with the consequences. Mama wasn’t there to scold me.
Cayuga Lake
I had the privilege of meeting so many individuals, diverse in background and thought. They have driven me to question my beliefs and think outside the box. These are people that I look up to and admire, close companions I have spoken to every single day since my arrival home.

Studying at Cornell was an incredible experience. I was exposed to a great deal of ideas and concepts that would have been otherwise extremely difficult for me to grasp. Learning about International Law in theory and practice has tremendously impacted me. I hope to acquire even more knowledge regarding the topics that we touched on in class, and share everything that I discover. Showing my community members ways in which they can seek local and international remedies is important to me. I want more than anything to positively impact people’s lives through protecting their fundamental rights as human beings and avidly promoting peace, justice, and equality in the world.

My classmates Robson, Pooja, Sultana, and I have already created our own website sponsored by Professor Brundige and Sharon Hickey. It is dedicated to social activism on a domestic and global scale. We are thrilled about further developing the site and possibly drafting an actual shadow report as a group later on in the year.

Perhaps the most vital insight that I have gained through this trip is for the future. My time here at Cornell has taught me my own preferences. I've learned that I definitely need to be surrounded by natural beauty in the future, like in Ithaca. When class gets stressful, I know that I can rely on my surroundings to ease my mind. I have also found that I would like to apply to more schools on the East Coast and study something along the lines of Journalism in the future.

I deeply thank and appreciate the ILC, Cornell Summer College, and everyone else that has made this journey a possibility for me. None of this would have been attainable without your support and guidance. 

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