Thursday, August 1, 2013

And...Scene.

Well, this is it: my final blog post while I’m on the East Coast. As I sit here trying to write my last blog I seem to find myself with a lack of words. I can’t even begin to describe how much I’ve loved this experience and how I am feeling right now.

I’ll start with one simple emotion that I’m feeling: sadness. Three weeks ago, I believed that, by this time, I’d be ready to go home. Yes, I do miss my family, the neutral Bay Area weather, and my bathroom (you try sharing a bathroom with a floor full of girls). But the thought that I will never be able to take the Women and Leadership class with the same group of girls and the same instructor saddens me. While I will try my best to stay in touch with these girls, I know that it will be difficult to stay in touch with them all, seeing as we are all from different parts of the world. At first, two weeks didn’t seem like enough time to be able to bond but I can now say that, in just two short weeks, I have grown so close to all the people I’ve met here.

Me and Julia posing with my roommate, Ariana!
I just finished rereading my pre-departure blog and it seems like it was an entirely different person who wrote that blog. I can’t even recall writing it. In that blog, I wrote that I knew the Women and Leadership course would be challenging but incredibly rewarding. While this is very much true, it wasn’t the sort of challenge I was expecting. Before starting the course, I expected to have lots of readings and essays to complete every night. However, although we did do this, what was most challenging for me was figuring out who I was. This course taught me more about myself than I ever would have imagined it to and to Don I’d like to say: You were right. I feel so much more empowered now than I did when I was stepping on the plane three weeks ago. 

As for what my day was like today: Class time today was mostly spent on doing mock presentations in preparation for tomorrow. At lunch, the Yale cohort paid us a visit and both our cohorts were able to have lunch together. It was interesting to talk to the Yale group because they have only just begun their journey on the East Coast while ours is about to end. My afternoon was spent rehearsing my speech, packing my bags and hanging out with friends in my dorm. In the evening, I attended a closing workshop. After hearing departure details, we split into our RA groups. Sarah Day, my RA, had us each write down notes to people in our group on separate squares of paper. She will give us our notes from other people in an envelope tomorrow and we won’t get to open them until we get home. Then, we all spent time sharing funny or embarrassing stories from our trip and it was honestly so fun hanging out with these girls. I’m going to miss them so much! They’re like family now and I can’t believe I won’t get to live with them anymore. 

I'll miss opening this door to my dorm room every day.

I'll miss Sarah Day, my RA.

Spotted this little guy on my way to the workshop!
Although I’m sad that my time here is over, I know that this is just the beginning. I am confident that I can apply everything I’ve learned here (both inside and outside of class) to anything I want to pursue in the future. I feel as though this class has helped me clear the dust out of my eyes and see the world through clearer eyes. Dean Almandrez is such an inspiring women and I hope that, when I leave here, I can stay in contact with her. 

I feel so lucky to live in the area that the Ivy League Connection is based. Because of this experience, I want to do as much as I can to convince my peers to take advantage of opportunities such as the one that the Ivy League Connection has given me. Not only do I feel more confident in myself and my abilities as a leader, but I also feel more confident about my future. So, to everyone who has helped me along the way, thank you. 

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