I never would have thought that being woken up from a cold induced nap would bring me such out of the world news like I had been chosen to attend the University of Chicago. I only expected my summer plans to be affected, I never expected that I would learn a lot about myself or that I would take away so much from this trip. Along the way I’ve met some incredible people and I have gotten a lot closer with the four incredible people that I traveled with.
I think it would be best for me to start at the beginning and explain how the UChicago group got chosen. I had originally applied for another program and I made it to the interview round. I didn’t get chosen and I felt like going home and locking myself up in my room. As much as I would like to say that the rejection didn’t affect me, I know that I can’t. I was too overcome with disappointment in myself to apply for another program that ILC had to offer. Before I had been chosen to go to UChicago, I regretted my decision and wished that I had the opportunity to apply again. Now that this whole trip is over, I'm satisfied at how everything played out and I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Going out of state and visiting all the colleges that we did really helped me figure out what I want, need, and expect out of a school. I want a school with a strong economics program, a campus with a community feeling, a campus where the safety of its students is taken seriously, a school that has a music program that I can participate in, and a lot of other qualities. I’ve always been open to out of state schools but I didn’t know where to start so our college visits before the course started were welcomed with open arms. My favorite part of the college visits were by far the dinners that we had afterwards. I noticed that there was a pattern that each school followed in each info session and campus tour. It was when I was talking to the alumni, current students, and admission officers that I really formed my own opinion of the school and if I could see myself being successful there. In the middle of my Georgetown dinner after talking to everybody there and listening to their experiences at Georgetown, it hit me that I was envious of the others’ experiences and I started to envision myself at Georgetown. In a diner that lasted about two hours, I had changed my college choices with Georgetown sitting proudly at the top.
Before this trip, I had been in denial about almost being a senior and having to grow up. I didn’t want to believe that I would have a lot of responsibilities or that pretty soon I would have to take care of myself. I will have to figure out how to get myself around potentially without a car and how to maintain a healthy balanced life. Living in a dorm without my parents and having to make decisions for myself forced me out of this little bubble I was living in, giving me a taste of what I was to expect. I had to balance taking care of myself, staying on top of my school work, and maintaining what I could of a social life. I feel like I did very well in staying on top of my school work but I would have liked to see myself get more sleep and spent more time with some of the new people that I met. I definitely spent too much time stressing over my classwork and going overboard in making sure that I understand the material. This took away from my experience in Chicago but I learned from this and I now know what I need to adjust when I leave for college.
I’ll never forget this trip but I mostly I will never forget the other four students that came with me. I spent almost every day with them either eating meals or just hanging out. Long nights blogging and studying were also spent together. It amazes me how close we got in a short period of time and how quickly we were able to be ourselves. My experience wouldn’t have been the same without my cohort and I can’t imagine the trip with any other people. I feel like the pressure of my class would have gotten to me if I didn’t have the support of my cohort and I hope that I was able to do the same for them. I’m going to cherish all the memories that we made together and I hope for nothing but the best for them as they go on in life.
This trip is something that I will always remember and cherish for as long as possible. I succeeded at being a college student and to a certain degree I maintained a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I learned how to speak at a higher level and the importance of backing up my words with facts. I evolved from being shy and socially awkward in front of people that I meet to being a social butterfly. I know that I am horrible with public transportation and that this is something that I need to seriously improve on. After some of the knowledge I gained about life, through the class I enrolled in, I learned how to speak business and read and comprehend a sustainability report. I can say that I wasn’t expecting to gain this much in just a short four weeks but I absorbed more than I expected.
I wouldn’t feel right ending this post without thanking everybody that has made this experience possible for me. I know that it took a lot of time and effort for this to be possible and I just want to take the time to thank everybody who has made this trip to UChicago happen. I’ve made lifelong friends, discovered that I was capable of more than I thought, and I feel a lot more prepared for college and life after that. I don’t know how many times saying thank you will express my gratitude but I hope this is a start. THANK YOU.