Sunday, July 12, 2015

We made it!

I woke up this morning with a little bit of anxiety. My room wasn’t quite ready for the room inspection and I still had to prepare for graduation. Trying be on schedule, I missed breakfast but that didn’t matter to me as much. Being at Cornell and participating in the summer college has really shaped me up when it comes to being on time. While other classes had the tendency of students being late, Hotel Management class had the problem of students coming in too early. Class officially start as 8:30 AM, but then students would fight for front row seats at 7:30 AM. Getting a great seat in class was like being a contestant for the Hunger Games, but it didn’t take away the fact that it motivated each and every students to get to class early. This is just one of the important and useful habits that being part of the summer college has incorporated in my life.

For the remainder of the morning, my mindset was strictly focused on being on time and following my schedule. I cleared out my trash bins as well as put away my linens in the linen exchange. I wiped down all the tables, chairs, shelves and even the windows. I wanted to make sure that the next student, who is blessed enough to live in South Balch 5364, would want the room to be in mint condition when they arrived, just as I did. I also went to the sink room and wiped down anything and everything.

After I finished most of the room it was time for me to get prepared for the graduation ceremony, I didn’t realize how nervous I was for the graduation until I started to get prepared for it. I was so anxious about being on time that it covered any trace of my nervousness. As I was getting ready I made a finial check throughout my whole dorm room because I didn’t want to leave anything, Right around the time I was done, my RA walks in for the room inspection and I passed.

When she left, I zipped up my bags and headed out. Before I could even leave, I looked at the room I called home for the past three weeks. It looked so empty and lifeless. It was the only place I found refuge to do my work quietly and the only place I could enjoy myself by embarrassingly dancing around knowing no one would see me. I was comfortable with this room and if I had a few picture frames and decorations, it would have seemed to be mine overall.
As cheesy as this sounds, I said good bye to me room and walked away. I stopped by the lounge area to drop off my keys and proceeded to the base floor on the elevator. I walked outside and saw Helen and Thao. They were waiting a taxi that would take us from North Campus to the Statler Hotel. We quickly snatched a taxi driver that was strolling passed us and left North Campus.

After leaving our luggage at the Statler Hotel, the whole cohort parted ways. We all had our own graduation ceremonies to attend. Luckily my graduation ceremony was located at the Statler. When the ceremony began, the whole class walked in a line across the stage and sat in their seats. It was an amazing and entertaining ceremony. What I loved about it the most was that it was student run. There were groups of students who went up and presented a few things that we did throughout the course. For example, one of the groups preformed their presentation they did earlier in the course. Other groups gave a simple presentation on what the class was learning. One of my favorite moments of the ceremony would be the picture slideshow at the end of the ceremony. The slideshow had pictures that depicted the loving family we had become. With each photo there was a memory and a story to be remembered. Just by watching the slideshow, I began to miss the class, even though the entire class was just among the audience with me.

After the ceremony, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. I took pictures with as many friends as I could. These are the photos are the ones I will cherish for a lifetime. At the end, I began to gather contact information of all the students that I didn’t have. As I was getting the students information, I happened to get some of the TA’s contact information as well. I was really happy to have made these connections with them and so honored to have worked alongside with them during this course. Even if I don’t meet them again or don’t get into the same college, I knew that the friends I made from the summer college are friends that I will definitely keep in touch.
My Lovely Professors and I
My Amazing TAs
My Group Member, Matt, and I

After the graduation ceremony, the whole cohort met together once more for our final hours in Ithaca. We went down on a stroll to College Town Bagels and got lunch. During our lunch, it was a time that we somewhat reflected over our trip and what we learned at Cornell. After lunch we headed back to Statler Hotel to wait for our shuttle.

I was told that the shuttle ride from Ithaca to Syracuse was about two hours; therefore I was planning to rest a bit before I got entangled in to the airport system. I got on the bus, closed my eyes and right as I opened them, we were at the Syracuse Airport. I was so confused, Mr.Chan-Law got us out and proceeded on. I checked the time and it has only been an hour since we left. I realized I had underestimated how long the ride was, but I had enough of a nap to keep me awake for the rest of the night.

We checked in our bags and went through TSA check in. Mr.Chan-Law wanted us to get an early dinner because he knew that we would have enough time to get something at Chicago. We got food and went on to our gate. We had a bit of time because our flight had been delayed. We weren’t in much of a rush at all but we were afraid that we would miss the flight going from Chicago to San Francisco. Chicago forecasted there would be a thunderstorm that would affect the airline schedule. We could be sure of what would happen. To add on to the tension we only had a 15 minute period to get from one terminal to another at the Chicago Airport. The flight being delayed made in seem as if the odds were not in our favor. In addition there wasn’t much we could do but cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Nevertheless our flight got to the terminal and we began to board. Before we could board they informed us that they would have to take the carry-on luggage to the storage room. Thao and I were the only ones who got our luggage taken to the storage room. From that point on, it was just a waiting and probability game. We didn’t want to miss the flight because all of us desperately wanted to go home and see our families.

We made our way to the Chicago Airport just fine. The weather was decent since there wasn’t a thunder storm and we get there a little earlier. The airplane arrived there a little earlier than projected but we still had the issue of only having 20 minutes to switch terminals. Thao and I still had to get our luggage, but Justice, Helen, Steven, and Julie sprinted to the next terminal to make sure we would make it. When Thao and I finally got our carry-ons, we only had ten minutes left to get there. It was at the point where Mr.Chan-Law, Thao and I had to sprint as fast as we could to just make it in time to not miss the flight.  We got on the plane and from here it was home free.
My View
The flight was very calming. Maybe it was because we were reassured that we wouldn’t miss a flight. Regardless of what it was, the only thing that mattered was that we were going home. Something that this program does is makes students realize what their families really mean. Being in this program, I realized how much my family supports me and how much they are there for me. It gave me a sense of how much I needed to appreciate them.

After being on the plane for around three or four hours, we finally landed. I was so excited and exhausted, as well. We got out of the plane, got our luggage and rushed outside to get the shuttle. After sometime of waiting a white limo rolls up. Mr.Chan-Law says, “Hey, let’s go.” We all looked at the limo and were dumbfounded. One of us said, “You are lying!” Mr.Chan-Law turn around and expresses that he was just joking around. All of us looked at each other happy to know that we were right about the limo not being ours. We walked closer to the limo and Mr.Chan-Law puts his luggage in the bag. We were so confused. It didn’t really hit us that we got a limo until a few seconds later. We were so amazed and excited.  The real question was “could this day get any better?” We honestly thought it was a great way to end off our little journey.

I’ve learned so much from being in Cornell for the past three weeks. I can’t believe that it all over now, but I am grateful for everything that I have learned and accomplished from this trip. This college experience, has not only educated myself about the college lifestyle, but it also has opened my eye to what I think I would like to do in the future. I am thankful for all the connections I’ve made with the amazing and scholarly students and people. Most importantly, I’d like to thank each and every one of the sponsors, parents, cohort member, and the Ivy League Connection’s supporters for allowing me to experience this. Just as it did for mine, I can’t  wait for this program to change the lives of the future generation.   
Representation of Cornell at its Finest!
"The Real Cornell Squad"

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