Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Love You Cornell

My trip to Cornell was nothing short of perfect and life changing. I went places that I wouldn’t otherwise go. I visited the universities of my dreams, met wonderful and learned amazing and life changing things. My time on my trip was precious. It gave me the chance to do something I would never get to do which is go to one of my dream universities and take classes thousands of miles away from my house. The time I spent in Cornell I learned, experienced and done things that shaped the way I think and thought of the world. In Cornell I met amazing people that empowered me to do things I have always wanted to do. I had a class that gave me the tools to do the things I always wanted to do and gave me the tools to create change. I loved my class and everything I learned in it. My professor was great, she was excited to be teaching and gave her class a hands on and rigorous course that gave us experience in the field of international law. Cornell was beautiful and full of wonderful things do to do. I was almost heartbroken that I had to leave after only three weeks. I wanted to stay longer so I could fully experience everything this fantastic place had to offer me. I am beyond grateful to be given this opportunity. I want to thank the ILC and Don Gosney for giving me this opportunity. Without their help none of this would happen. Without them I wouldn’t be able to travel across the nation and study at the university of my dream.  

This trip taught me a lot. It not only helped me figure out whether or not I want to apply to Cornell (spoiler alert: I do!). But it helped me find ways to help my community; it helped me figure out what college would be like and how to live by myself. I learned how to be better at critical thinking and time management. This trip taught me how to be an adult and was life changing. It was a lot of fun and was the greatest trip of my life. It is a moment in my life that I will look back on with happiness and nostalgia since it was transformative and an important part in my life. After the trip I am excited to bring what I learned and share. I can’t to bring knowledge from my class and fight for the rights of others. This trip was absolutely perfect and I’d like to thank Don Gosney and the ILC for sending me to Cornell. Without them I would never be able to have this opportunity. Without them I wouldn’t have the knowledge, experience and friends that I have. Thank you.

Cornell itself taught me a lot of lessons. It taught me to be independent and how to take care of myself without the help of my mom. This was the first time in my life that I was thousands of mile from my mom without her help to feed myself or do my laundry or get myself up for class. I did everything on my own and it was liberating. Everything that I did over there I earned completely by myself. It was a new feeling and one I got used to quickly. 

Living on campus and doing everything by myself also gave me a glimpse into my future. It gave me experience with what college life was going to be like and I love it. It was great to set my schedule to find a balance between fun and school work and to plan out my day. I was given a glimpse into college life and I love every moment of it. But after a while I missed home a lot and I started to hate the food that started to taste disgusting after a week. 

Most importantly my class taught a lot. The class I took was called International Human Rights in Theory and Practice. I learned more things in this class than I did in about two years of high school. I learned about how the UN works, certain treaty bodies, how to file a shadow report, how to write an action plan, how to advocate for human rights at the local and international level and so many other things that if I listed them this blog would be 7,000 words. The most important thing that this class taught me is how to advocate for my community. I would see things in my community that I believed were wrong, that I wanted to fix and that I complained about constantly. With this class and the real life situations and simulations where we would address human rights abuses like real lawyers I have the tools to fix the things I find wrong in my community. Before I would only complain because I had no clue how to change anything for the good, but this class taught me everything I need to know to become an advocate for my community. This class was important to me and I loved it so much because what it taught me was very applicable to my life. In this class I also had many of my beliefs challenged. We would have many open discussions where people with different opinions and perspectives from mine and many of them weren’t afraid to share their opinions and challenge mine. I loved this. It made my ideas sharper, it made me look at my ideas more critically and it forced me to look outside my perspective. This class helped shape the way I think and look at the world. This course helped me finally do what I always wanted to do and that is advocate for my community.   

When I was in Cornell taking my class and setting my own schedule I met fantastice people. People that became very close friends of mine and from what I can see lifelong friends. People like Pooja, Sultana, my fellow cohort member Javaria, Marian, J’nai and Eunji. On top of being funny, nice, smart, and generous and many other positive adjective they taught me many important lessons. They taught me friends and company is important. Previously I never saw the true value in having friends. I never saw having friends as being something special or being something that added value to what I was doing. But in my time at Cornell with these outstanding people I realized that it matters who you are with and the people that surround you can make a place a place even more special. These people also empowered me. Even with the tools my class gave me, I was hesitant to make change, but with my friends’ (Pooja, Javaria and Sultana) encouragement I help found an organization to help empower youth to create change in their community and internationally (for those who are curious it is called “Fight For the Right”). I am so happy about the people I met because not only do I have lifelong friends, but I was also given the encouragement to fight for change and empower others across the nation to do so as well.  

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