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Monday, July 27, 2015

An Unforgettable Summer

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and I can certainly vouch for that statement. My time in the East coast left me with unforgettable memories and experiences that I probably would’ve never had without this program. This was my first, and last year participating in the Ivy League Connection, and I never actually thought that I would even be accepted. This entire experience felt like such a dream to me, and I’m glad that I was able to participate in this wonderful program.

Initially, I had chosen to apply to Vanderbilt, but I wasn’t able to get in, so afterwards, I applied  to the Physics program in the University of Pennsylvania. This program was actually the one that intrigued me the most because physics is a subject that has always piqued my curiosity. I truly enjoy learning about physics, but I knew that this course was going to be a challenge, since it was an actual college course. Unlike the very basic courses that I had previously taken, this class had delved deeper into physics and went beyond the basics. It challenged me to apply what I learned into the real world instead of using nice problems with easy solutions. 

This course had taught me that the world is definitely not perfect, and that there are always uncertainties within the world. Each calculation that a person has made cannot always be perfect, and error is always apparent, but that doesn't stop us from learning more and more about the world through the use of science. Even some of the great scientists have made errors in their discoveries, but it's these errors that have pushed science to where it is now. As my professor, Bill, says, "The mark of a true genius is about making all of the mistakes before everyone else." Well, I sort of paraphrased because I can't quite remember the exact phrase, but you get the idea. Anyways, I'm truly grateful to have participated in this program. I was able to learn with the use of sophisticated equipment that my school has never offered, and with each lab that I had done, I was able to understand each concept a little bit more. In the beginning of the class, we had started off with the basics of mechanics, but eventually I even learned that Newton's 2nd Law of Motion was actually simplified when it's first being taught. Eventually, we had moved onto electricity and circuits, and I was even able to measure the speed of light. (Not to brag, but my group attained the closest measurement.) I learned so much from this course in just three weeks, and not only from the professors, but from the lab assistants and the students as well.

The main goal of the Ivy League Connection was to be able to interact with others from different backgrounds, and that's exactly what I did. I had met so many different people coming from various places, and it was fascinating to learn about their experiences. I had even become friends with someone from Turkey! The world is so big, and I've learned to truly appreciate everyone that I meet.

After this course had ended, I know that I had changed for the better. I became more independent and outgoing, which is such a contrast to my personality before the program. I remember when I first went into the shuttle in El Cerrito High School, I was too introverted to talk much. Eventually, I had realized that it was perfectly fine to say what was on my mind, and throughout the three weeks, I had changed, even just a little. I became more open to trying new things, just as when I had traveled around for the first few days, and I was also able to open my eyes to how broad our world is.

My experiences in this course had allowed me to learn so many things, even if it was a short amount of time. New topics had always risen with everyone that I had met, and I was actually able to live as a college student for a short while. The University of Pennsylvania allured me with its great atmosphere, so now, I'm definitely thinking of applying. I don't think I could ever forget any of the great memories I made during this entire experience.

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