Cornell: perhaps the most adventurous of the chapters in my story so far. I am now a Cornell University Summer College alum and I cannot express how amazing it feels to be able to say that. I packed a bag and flew across the country because I took a chance at what was the journey of a lifetime. And that it was.
I am now back in the Bay Area, a completely different person. A girl with a different perspective on what the world is and what it has to offer. I encountered many of the greatest leaders from around the world, learned about their organization and contributions to society, and made some great friends along the way.
This summer I was given a chance. Everyone was on my side and that was the most reassuring feeling. I was independent, on a completely different level. I loved it. It was the best being able to do things on my terms, what I wanted, when I wanted it done and how every day was going to look. I was able to wake up every morning and look in the mirror and see my eyes full of life from the rush of this new world I was experiencing.
The Ivy League, never in my wildest dreams would I have been to even guess I would end up there. I’ve seen it now, I’ve seen the game, I learned how to play it. I had to step outside my comfort zone to make friends and speak up in class. I took out my own trash, walked down several stories to do my laundry, I gave my all in Inspiring Leadership, and I’m so proud of myself.
I brought back much more with me than a bronzed glow and a piece of paper from one of the most prestigious universities. I now have a new approach to my career, the organizations I work with, and the relationships I have with those a part of my community. My goal now is to foster the same community I had experienced, one of teamwork, hard work, diligence, and responsibility. Seeing these outstanding youth, only inspired me to strive even more for where I come from, to start small and not only help an organization and vision grow, but grow with it.
I blinked and I’m back home, like I said I would be with a great story to tell. I’m the same me, with a new purpose: to inspire, to create, to grow. So for now, goodbye Ithaca, goodbye Cornell, goodbye everyone who changed my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe. We’ll meet again, hopefully soon.
Thank you ILC, for helping me live the dreams I had been chasing since I was little, when I would envision myself in the future, before the world was so big. I’m still that small girl, in a big world doing big things. No one thought I could make it, so here’s to the ILCers who will go on to make a difference because someone invested in them, here’s to those who were not afraid to make that investment. Here’s to the best summer of my life, and most importantly here’s to myself. I would never have been able to do it without the ILC.