Monday, July 13, 2015

In a Nutshell

A week of traveling around the East Coast and a summer course at Cornell later, I’m back in the Bay area. Of course, being away for so long, my family was buzzling with questions. After a nights rest in my warm cozy bed and a morning of unpacking, everyone sat outside for some storytelling.

I started off with day one— the day we left California. I didn’t think so much could happen in one day. Our activities seem to last an entire week! There was no time to stop during that first week. We went through city after city and tour after tour. The first city was Atlanta Georgia, followed by Washington D.C., Pennsylvania and finally, Cornell. In this time, we visited Emory University, Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, several national monuments in D.C. and the holocaust museum. From these college tours, I’ve discovered that I’m interested in living in a city bustling with activity. I’ve also learned to watch out for the weather when picking a college. Not only as this the first time I got to tour so many colleges, but I also got to experience traveling around some beautiful cities in the East Coast. On top of housing the nation’s capital, the East Coast has many companies and historical buildings that I would never think about. After days of nonstop travels, it was time for Ithaca.

Ithaca, New York, is the city where Cornell University is located; it was also my home for the next
The gorgeous Cornell campus.
three weeks. In middle school, my mother sent me away to camp in the Berkeley Mountains for a week, but this was different. I got my first taste of independence then, but the experience here was much more different. During camp, my most difficult task was figuring out how to organize a group of ten year olds into a straight line. Here, I had to wake up early enough to run through my morning routine, study for exams while keeping on a set of clean clothes. Although the tasks seem mundane, it was difficult to get used to. I had to create my own schedule and make my own meal choices. Everything was up for me to decide. It was the first time I was faced with these tasks.

Things got better over time. Everyone agrees that the first week was definitely the longest. It took time to get used to everything. On top of the nine hour school day, students had eat their meals and shower on time for check-in. Not to mention everyone who had a habit of procrastination learned to organize themselves within the first week. I didn’t just learn when the best time to shower would be, but I also realized the importance of eating healthy. At first, the cheeseburgers and pizza on a daily basis sound great, but over time, you learn that just because it’s offered, doesn’t mean you need to eat it.

Of course, there was lots of learning that went on inside the classroom as well. The most difficult part was getting over that stage of intimidation and doubt. I was hit really hard in the first few days. I was sitting in a classroom full of students whose parents run major hotel companies, and here I am. The only hotels I know are the few I’ve stayed in the times my family got to travel, and here are a classroom full of brilliant students asking about brands on the first day of class. I was terrified. I didn’t think that I’d make it through the course, but it happened. After the first quiz, I realized that this would be like any other course. Everyone is studying from the same book in the same classroom, and I had the chance to succeed. On top of this, I was on equal grounds with top students from all over the world. That itself is amazing. Over the past few weeks, we learned a lot about marketing, franchising and managing a hotel. In addition, everyone learned about business computing. We learned how to use different functions in Microsoft word, PowerPoint and Excel.
A wonderful hotel class.
After three amazing weeks out in the beautiful city of Ithaca, it was time to head home. Although my time at Cornell adds up to less than a month, it was really like my second home. The people, the energy and the classes came together to compose a brilliant summer experience.
The end of the trip.

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