Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Unforgettable Summer at Brown

I cannot believe this is going to be my last blog entry at ILC@Brown. Time has been passing so fast… It feels like we had only just begun our adventures at Brown a few days ago, rather than three weeks ago. All the same, I found that the amount of learning I have received here proved to be proportional to the time I spent here on the East Coast.

In terms of academics, not only did I receive much information about DNA, biotechnology, and lab skills, I received good study habits from the Brown environment as well. All the people around me at Brown, including those with the ILC, were diligent workers with very organized schedules of doing homework and participating in activities. They even stuffed blogging in! 

For example, Austin provided me with a good method. He studied very efficiently and spent his time very effectively. While the rest of us chatted after lunch, he reviewed materials that would help him to understand what would be in the afternoon lectures. It always helped him to participate a lot in class and perform well on quizzes. I now know how to make a rational agenda for my study and life.

I am glad I received this opportunity to walk out of De Anza High School in Richmond and was able to see myself from another angle. At De Anza, I was a relatively hardworking and intelligent student and was one of the Valedictorian candidates of my class. At Brown, I opened my eyes to those students who were even more academically gifted. That pushed me to work even harder to develop at the same rate they did.

Another highlight of this trip would be the friendships I made. When we six Brownies departed on June 13th, I knew we would make great friends. I have been very thankful about starting with five friends when I got to Brown because I knew they would provide a protective shield and warm hearts, especially since we were far away from home. Even though there was tension between us on some of those hectic days, we pulled through all the classroom hardships and even just daily life by supporting the others. Six of us became a family. I am very lucky to have met these wonderful people and be able to consider them my second family.

By going to Brown through ILC, I opened my eyes to out-of-state colleges. I learned that it is always good to have more options. Mr. Ramsey’s speech at the Brown Alumni Brunch, in particular, helped me to understand that. One never knows how high they can achieve without striving for what is best for them. This easily applies to my college choices, which I will be facing in a few months. Now, instead of limiting my goals to Stanford and Berkeley, I am trying to reach higher. I will definitely consider East Coast Ivy League colleges, which used to only exist in my dreams, such as Brown, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, etc. I will bring this idea back to my high school as well as the WCCUSD in general. I will spread the idea that everyone can have more and better choices in everything, regardless of their condition or background. The only necessary things are hard work and determination.

A conclusion has been reached regarding our journey at Brown. I have been absorbing daily life and subject learning as a sponge would, just as I wanted at the beginning and throughout the trip. Now I want to show my sincerest appreciation for the ILC, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg, Don, and the rest of our supporters who granted us this life-changing opportunity to study at Brown and open our eyes to other prestigious schools that I never considered going to. I must also thank Ms. Bulls for being such an amazing chaperone. She did an excellent job of taking care of us and giving us mental and physical support throughout the trip.

This is the best summer experience I have had, and I will certainly treasure it for the rest of my life.

1 comment:

  1. Zijun,

    After reading your blog I have this unexplainable yen to apply for college. Not just any college, mind you, but a highly selective school where my own potential can be realized.

    I figure, if it can happen to you and the other ILC team members, then why not me. Okay, maybe you’re all a lot smarter than me and I’m a half a gazillion years old but why should that matter?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Zijun.