The trip that seemed like a distant dream for so many months has finally happened and came to an end. These past five weeks have gone by so fast. I originally thought that a four week course would feel like forever, that I would have plenty of time to do everything I wanted to do in the next couple weeks. It turned out to be way shorter than I would have liked to stay. There are some things I wish I had been able to do but didn't, but I keep telling myself that if I keep it up and work hard enough I can get into UPENN for college, or a nearby school on the East Coast, and do it then. This trip has made me beyond motivated.
The college environment I got to experience was amazing. I can't wait for dorm life, even with the slightly gross communal bathrooms and the small living areas. I think that being able to walk outside your room and see other people you can talk to makes it completely worth it. Being able to say I've experienced this before going to college is rare and remarkable, as is taking a course in and taught by a professor who teaches at one of the most prestigious universities in the United States and world.
I also believe that there was no better option for course or location that the ILC could have sent me to. Social Justice is something I am extremely interested in and passionate about. I want my major and future career to be influenced by this passion. I don't think I will ever enroll in a class that will be similar to that which Professor Lamas and Michael Nairn taught. They were truly incredible. I also found out on this trip that UPENN is my top choice for college. I absolutely loved Philadelphia and everything the university had to offer. Throughout the whole four weeks there, I automatically kept assuming I will be back which proves how much I can see myself going there. Without ILC, I would have never thought to attend school on the East Coast whereas now I don't think there's anywhere I'd rather be.
I do wish we could have seen and toured more colleges in the East Coast, but I'm already so grateful for those we did get to see that it's not much of an issue. I would have loved to see Brown, Harvard, Yale and more although they were not very close to where we were staying. The schools I did see I was impressed with, but I don't think I'll be applying to any that we toured except UPENN.
The people I studied with and met through this program were such an inspiration to me. I've never been in a place where so much talent and intelligence came together and bonded in this way. The final talent show really proved how talented these people are. Something I am going to really miss is being able to go outside and strike up a discussion about important and deep matters. I'm hoping and expecting that college will be more like this than high school is because college is made up of all students who want to be there, and very few that would rather be anywhere else.
I wouldn't think twice before advising someone to try as hard as they can to be a part of the ILC. I hope that my younger siblings will apply when their time comes, as well as my younger friends. The worst that could happen if they apply is that they get a valuable practice at applications, essay writing and interviews. The application process was tough, but all too worth it. I don't regret a single thing about the ILC. I have come to enjoy blogging, although I often had to write them in the late hours of the night with everything going on on campus. When encouraging people to apply, I will tell them not to be scared off by Evil Don or the vigorous application process and mandatory events because it will seriously be the best decision of their lifes if they go through with it and experience an adventure like the one I just got done with. I will never have enough words to thank those who made this trip possible for me, so I will end this reflection with a simple "Thank you! My distant dream has come true.