This is where it shall all begin. This is the very moment we've all been waiting for anxiously for months, and the day has finally come with welcoming arms for all of us ILCers.
This morning we exited the our hotel rooms permanently and entered a new world in which none of us ILCers are quite familiar with. We were greeted very kindly with the Assistant Dean of the school and the head coordinator of the summer program as they expressed the great reputation of Ivy League Connection students at their Ivy League institution.
We all started out by first going in line to get our room keys and heading to our appropriate destinations after signing in. Above my name I recognized an Iranian name as I was particularly excited to know someone here in this program has a similar background as I do. However, that excitement slightly faded away after realizing that EVERY Ivy League student is in one house, excluding me...
I actually didn't mind being separated because I understand we are here to reach out to different individuals and take opportunities that are not presented to us as soon as they strike, but that's when I thought we were all going to be jumbled up together and only a few might be in the same house. I know I will make new friends, but I just felt so excluded knowing that all my ILC friends are going to be together except just me. At that very moment, I felt so empty inside seeing everyone so excited and me so scared about what was going to happen next...
The story turned out pretty ironically, though. I live in Hartley while Adrianne, Lucas, Lenny, Tomi, and Aurea all live in Carman. They all have smaller dorm rooms sharing with another individual while I have a two story suite including a kitchen, television set, living room, and a room approximately double their size!
But wait for it, it gets even better... My room has TWO beds, TWO desks, TWO closets, a carpeted floor, and an amazing view all to myself. All I can say is, "thank you God...”
So this can simply goes to show that anything we ever find "unfortunate" can only lead to more prosperous gains, just something I learned from The Alchemist.
I told everyone in the ILC that if they ever want to meet up for a discussion or anything in particular, they are all totally welcome and I will invite them all with open arms. (As long no rules are broken such as the curfew rule). Like Adrianne always jokingly says, "Mi casa es su casa!”
After settling down I walked a little around to meet my floor-mates and they were all equally unique and I truly enjoy their company so far. We all went to the Barbecue together and later came home to a mandatory suite orientation. It's really cute because our entire suite is filled with crafty works of art and attractive "girly" magazine cut-outs. Each room is personalized with a creative door name-label, and the stairs are wrapped with pink daisy flowers. Also, one of the ways is a "blank canvas" area where we are urged to draw or write whatever we'd like. The people who created all of this were RAs. I actually have two and they're both awesome! They're both exchange students; one is from Bosnia and the other from Israel. I had the opportunity to meet them all really well in the orientation, as well as a variety of very different individuals. We started out with an ice-breaker where we introduced ourselves and spoke about our backgrounds and interests and then later went into detail about the rules we must adhere to. During the ice-breaker, I realized there are actually two other Iranians in my suite! Well, they're partially Iranian but that's still something! One is half Iranian half German which is actually my neighbor in regards to rooming, and the other's grandfather was Iranian but is a Jewish Venezuelan. As you can tell by my excitement, I am Ms. Persian-Pride wherever I go and If I see some sort of Iranian connection between us, I will literally burst with excitement. It's not often I see one, and I love my culture and heritage so I enjoy communicating with others who share such similarities with me.
Aside from those two, we also have 9 other students in our suite -- all amazing in their own way. For example, one student is directly from Taiwan, another from Latin America, and another speaks 7 languages. I connect with others very well so by the first 15 minutes I was practically talking to all of them, laughing, telling stories, and just sharing ideas. One thing I did notice was that they were all part of a more elite upper class, even our RA.
After the orientation a group of us gathered together to head out and buy some supplies. The stores were actually closed but we ended up exploring the campus more. The campus is beautiful and very welcoming, I love it! Also, for the very first time I saw fireflies! I was especially excited about that because for the past 16 years of my existence on this planet, I've only seen fireflies in cartoon shows like "Fairly Odd Parents.”
Last but not least, the day officially ended with many of the summer program students outside mingling and getting to know one another. Faces were blank with a sense of awkwardness creeping amongst the students at night in thoughts of how to approach one another, but by the end of the night I'm sure people met a lot of different individuals. Speaking for myself, I'm sure I met at least 50 people from at least 10 different locations.
I Hope no one thinks I'm weird by now but I just went up to people and introduced myself.
|Just a few of the many awesome individuals I will be sharing a suite with for the next month.|
Today and every day that shall come, the sky will be my only limit. Even the connections made with students is an important opportunity. Opportunity is something that I will not miss out on on this trip, trust me.
Now the story will begin tonight at 12:00 AM; the story of a simple bay area girl living above and beyond expectations in an environment of high competitive nature. The story begins now.
Once upon a time...