This journey started many months ago. It started with a last-minute decision to apply to the Ivy League Connection for a chance to go to Cornell University. That decision was one of the best I have made in my life. Looking back, though, I remember how the Ivy League Connection almost didn't happen this year, through funding issues and other roadblocks. I'll talk about the Ivy League Connection in my next post though, just to keep things organized. (Also, the photos in this blog may have already been posted in previous blogs, but that's on purpose.)
In the past month, I have traveled on planes, trains, and in automobiles. I saw lightning, rain, and sunny skies. I went on tours of Emory University, Georgetown University, and University of Pennsylvania. I spent three weeks at Cornell's summer college. I met people from Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Florida, New Jersey, Panama, India, and more. One of the nicest things about summer college, that I'm not used to, is how everyone wants to be there. You don't hear profanities everywhere. Trash isn't thrown on the ground. People say please and thank you, like civilized humans. It was an environment of growth, and safety, and education. It was a time to make your own schedule, care for yourself. It was a time to grow.
Cornell University is gorgeous, what can I say. Risley Hall looks like a castle. Balch Hall is made of stone. The Mary-Donlon building is modern and air-conditioned. Trees are everywhere, grass is everywhere. Birds live in the roof, rabbits make frequent appearances.
My class taught me logic. I learned how to identify fallacies, how to diagram logic to prove if it makes sense or not. I learned how asking specific questions can lead to the answer that you want. I learned that the power of words is most dangerous to the masses who don't understand how to protect themselves against arguments that aren't as true as they sound.
My daily routine let me be in charge. I set my routine of eating, sleeping, and working. I was responsible for laundry and taking out my trash. I could go to Target by myself on the bus to get what I needed. It was an experience of freedom and responsibility that I couldn't get at home, even if I really wanted to. I could eat as much ice-cream as I wanted. I could eat as many pears as I wanted. Those are both important points.
My experience at Cornell went beyond the classroom. My world was opened to decisions that I made, activities I decided to do. It was up to me to meet people. I learned that just because someone is from Panama or from Puerto Rico, doesn't mean we have nothing in common.
I was gifted with the opportunity to be a college student for three weeks. This may sound unimportant to some of you readers, but I also learned that in my last two years of high school, I should (and I want to) take advantage of everything, do everything, enjoy everything, because nothing lasts forever, and often people don't realize what they've missed until it is gone.