Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just the Beginning

For God, for country, and for Yale
Tonight's blog is definitely worth reading. I guarantee.

My opinions of Yale before visiting were very certain. Yale is not the college for me. It is too old and way too uptight for me. These were just opinions of course. Yes, I was so wrong it wasn’t even funny. I am thankful I got to visit Yale because I would have missed out on an opportunity.
Not only is Yale the number one school in the nation, it is in my opinion also one of the most beautiful. Its architecture is amazing! It was home of the first American spy Nathan Hale and probably one of the most historic colleges out there. It is so rich in history and culture.

Before you read more, I would recommend going watching this video. If you are not convinced that Yale is the school for you, then I can’t imagine what you’re looking for in the school.

For me, this video set the school over the edge as far as tours. It was a catchy but truthful video on what Yale is all about. I mean, if you’re already having fun before you actually get accepted and attend, you’re in for a whole load of fun when you actually become a student.

The most memorable parts of the campus for me were the Church of Knowledge and the Beinnecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Museum. The Church of Knowledge is actually a library that looks like a really old cathedral like on the outside and even a little on the inside. That was the best architecture I saw on campus. The Museum we walked through on the tour was breath taking. It has over 1.5 million rare books and original manuscripts. You can actually read the books and look at them, when they’re taken outside of the glass surrounding the entire library of course. Can you imagine writing a report using the resources from that library?!
Rare books and manuscripts
Church of Knowledge
Yale definitely proved my first opinions wrong. I was a little harsh on liberal arts schools, but with Yale being one of them I had to change my mind. At first I wasn’t considering applying to the college because of the fact that the acceptance rate is 9%, but now that I got to feel the atmosphere and see the college I might just change my mind. Who knows? They say that first impressions are everything. Yale definitely can make a good first impression!

Dinner followed with 2 alums from UPENN and 2 alums from Yale. I sat closest to My Luu, a Yale graduate, and Carlin, a UPENN graduate. My Luu is probably one of the people I will remember in my life, not meaning to sound sarcastic or anything. She was so passionate about Yale and everything it had to offer it was amazing. She is president of the alum association in New York and told me about all of the networking opportunities that Yale has to offer its students and alums. It almost felt like everyone went to Yale and that they were all one connected group. She encouraged us to make sure we have something to set ourselves apart when applying. The more original and unique you can be the better chance you have of being accepted.

My Luu also encouraged us that if we were interested in applying to Yale and if we really really really wanted to go there, to apply early decision. It is not binding, but you can only apply early decision to Yale if you chose to apply early. Most students get accepted that way because Yale looks at those applicants as people who really want to go to Yale and have their school as their number one choice. The acceptance rate is about 20%.

For me what stood out the most about Yale was the fact that the two alums would reminisce about their college experience and get excited over it. It was like they were ecstatic that they were alums and they were proud. I felt the pride in themselves that I could almost feel in myself if I were to go there. My Luu told us all to aim high, there’s no harm in aiming high. We must go after what we want, but play it safe at the same time, meaning don’t just apply to colleges that have a less that 10% acceptance rate.

The two alums from UPENN, Carlin and Ben, were awesome. I didn’t get to talk to them as much as I would have liked, but they told us that when dealing with admissions, to just take your time and keep doing what we’re doing. We’re already amazing students for being able to participate in this program so the main thing is to just keep strong through senior year. Ben offered to hang out with us when we had free time and take us to museums or sightseeing. We will definitely take that offer.

Two strange things happened to me tonight that I will never forget. NEVER.

When I was coming out of the bathroom, a woman that worked at Milos approached me and asked me if I spoke Spanish. I replied yes and she asked me what all the people at the table and I were there for. I explained the situation about the ILC and her mouth dropped. She couldn’t believe that we were given the opportunity to do that. She went on to say that she wished her daughter, who is 7 years old, would be offered an opportunity like mine. She wished me luck and reassured me that I would become successful.

This moment, I can relive it over and over again. For an outsider to be able to notice that something unique was going on means that the ILC is making a difference and is grabbing not only the attention of admissions officers and students, but also of the public. Even if they don’t know what we’re about something is unique that draws attention to ourselves.

I was about to leave the table when the table behind me asked me where we all worked. I replied, “Sorry, we don’t work. We’re high school students.” They looked at me for a while like they were confused and asked what we were doing there. I responded by telling them we were part of the ILC and what we were doing in New York City. Again, they responded with an astonished look. They told me I had the experience of a lifetime. I told them I wanted to be an engineer, and one of them simply said, “You’re on the right track, you’ll be great one day.”

Now, I don’t know if they were being overly nice or something, but to me, that meant a lot. Again, twice in one night people noticed something was different with our group.

Tonight made me realize how lucky I really am to be in a program like this. Not everyone has this chance and for people to notice what work is being done is amazing. Everyone (all of the alums and even some people in the restaurant) agreed that they wished they have the chance that we have. Tonight has been the best night in NYC so far, just because of those two groups acknowledging our group. This is just the first step.

1 comment:

  1. Milani,

    Sounds like you had an eventful day--both at Yale and back in New York City.

    I would have loved to have been in that restaurant to see just what was happening that had such an impact on the others dining there.

    I hope you recall that on the night you were selected for this program I told you that you were going to be treated as adults all the way up until that time that your actions demanded that you be treated as children. I further told you that at these events you would be associated with adults who were going to treat you as an adult. I told you they would talk to you as an adult and listen to what you have to say. I think that last night you saw some of that first hand. Feels kind of nice, doesn't it?

    And, as I read somewhere in this blog, this is just the beginning.