Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last Day to a New Beginning

Canon Power Shot ELPH 340 HS
I'm very excited for tomorrow because is going to be my first time traveling in a airplane.  I was going back and forth trying to figure out what to pack for the trip because I don't want anything of my stuff to be thrown away. My parents and I went to go buy a camera and we went to eight different stores to end up at Best Buy buying the camera.  We got the Canon Power Shot ELPH 340 HS camera.  Is a very nice camera that takes beautiful pictures so Don can see them when he reads my blogs.

This is my luggage I hope I'm not forgetting anything because then I'm going to be mad about myself after I spend hours packing ( I think I took longer than a woman would).

I hope this trip will help me improve and develop my writing skills. That's why I'm taking the Creative Writing course.  I hope that when I get back from the trip I will be ready to apply for all of the colleges that I might want to go.  I hope this will help me improve as an individual person that can be responsible enough to be by myself and can take care of myself so later on I can see if that's something I would like to do in the future going to a university in the East.

Last Blog From Home

I can’t believe I only have a couple more hours until my East-Coast adventure begins! My mom and I were talking about how fast time has flown this summer—it seems like it’s barely been a month since I found out I was being offered a scholarship at the University of Chicago.
My check in luggage all packed
I have to admit, I’m kind of nervous. About the class (such as the reports, and debates we’ll have to do)—will I be ready for the rigorous education UChicago has? Have the previous reports and debates I’ve done equipped me with the tools I need to contribute to thought-provoking discussions?
My carry-on
My dad has a recorder, and he records almost every major event on it. Earlier today, I watched videos from a party about a year ago. To be honest, I was shocked to discover the difference between the ways I acted then and how I act now—I was considerably less mature then. It brought to mind the parents who say they’ve seen their children change after taking an ILC course. I think I, too, will be transformed by the ILC. I wonder what kind of Dani I’ll be watching a month from now (because I have no doubt my dad will want to bring the recorder to the airport when I come home).

Though I’m nervous, I also feel SO excited for this trip!!! I’m excited to meet people who value education as much as I do at UChicago, as well as meet those who have worked hard academically and reached success in their school and job (like the alums, tour guides, and students we’ll meet).
Laptop case, minus the laptop (which I'll get tomorrow)
I’m excited to travel and live away from home, though I’ll miss my friends and family a lot. I think a big part of the reason I’m nervous about the class is because I know that if I do well there, it could change my—and therefore my each member of my family’s—life. It’s also a bit unnerving to be one of only five people who are representing the rest of our district.
Snacks? Check!
However, I don’t believe in coincidences—I believe everything happens for a reason. My being picked was no exception; I’m ready to see where this amazing trip will take me!
Ready to go!

It's Almost Time

If I can tell time correctly, there is about seven more hours before we are to meet up at El Cerrito High School. After a week of getting prepared, the excitement is finally starting to hit me. My bags are packed, I've tripled checked that I have both my ID and my medical card, now, all that's left for me to do is wait. Only if that was as easy as it sounds.

For this trip, I'm going to need to learn how to take things slowly and not get ahead of myself. This is a bad habit I have which doesn't allow me to enjoy the present. This is especially important to me because everything is going to be moving fast pace as we go from city to city and I want to be able to enjoy the moment. Another thing I'm going to have to learn is how to be a college student. I'm not going to have my mom there to help keep me organized and to tell me what I need to do (I'm really going to miss her), I have to do all of that by myself. I feel like it will most definitely be a shock to me but I just have to take it day by day and pause to take a breather when I need it.

My mind seems to be going at 100 the time keeps on ticking. I keep thinking about what the schools will be like, what the University of Chicago itself will be like, if I will get too cold or too hot, and whether or not I'm forgetting anything. I'm hoping that I can calm down and get a few hours of sleep before it's time to leave. This is proving to be especially difficult since my sleeping pattern has been off since we ended school. I've said my goodbyes to friends and family, all that's left to do is leave.

Preparing to Leave

Washington University in St. Louis
I have a lot to think about as I finish packing and doing last minute preparations for our trip to the East coast. There is much to be anticipated and I think that at first, I will have to go into this trip thinking one day at a time, rather than getting ahead of myself. After all, I have many experiences and events ahead of me in the next couple of weeks. First we will be visiting Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Then we will be visiting multiple universities in Washington D.C., the University of Pennsylvania and lastly, the universities in Chicago. First we'll visit Northwestern University, and then, of course, the University of Chicago, where I will be staying for the remainder of my trip. All of the college tours and dinners with alumni, admissions officers, and students of the universities are taking place within the first week, so there will be a lot of information to take in. 

The goal of this trip is to learn as much as possible about the college experience and what each of us students would look for in a school personally. The goal is also to bring back what we have learned and share and apply this knowledge in our communities and lives. Besides getting a taste of the college experience by attending a class, living in the dorms, eating at the dining halls, and meeting people with new perspectives on college life, I will be learning about developmental psychology. I am really excited about this class because I have always been interested in health and medicine, and psychology definitely intersects. I have looked at the textbook briefly and I cannot wait to learn more. 

Since I will be away from home for a month, it is likely that I will feel homesick and miss my family at some point, but luckily, I have been away from home for extended periods of time before, and I am sure I will have more than enough to focus on besides missing home. I feel so grateful to have received this amazing opportunity that will open many doors for me in the future and will allow me to grow and mature as a person. I am going to try to get at least a couple of hours of rest before I have to wake up at two in the morning to start the big trip!