Friday, May 13, 2016

A First Taste of Vanderbilt

Seeing that I was the last member of the Vanderbilt cohort to arrive at the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station, I was overcome with both a sense of déjà vu and excitement. 

Monday was the Ivy League Connection dinner for Vanderbilt, and as a second-year participant of the ILC, this wasn't the first time that I had done this, but I couldn't suppress the bit of nervousness that I had. 

After everybody had arrived, Don went over some final details about what was happening, and soon we were boarding our train. Along the way, I chatted with Edward, one of my fellow cohort members. The conversation was mostly about the AP and SAT tests that we had recently taken (looking back, it was an odd choice given the trauma they had caused), but we talked about things like our favorite shows as well. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, I was already looking forward to getting to know my cohort better next Tuesday, the scheduled date for our cohort's small group meeting.
Some of the excellent food that we ate. 

Some of said alumni.
The other group of people that I was also looking forward to meeting were the sponsors and Vanderbilt alumni who would also be at the dinner; I had many questions about the school I would be staying at over the summer. I was not disappointed. In addition to fielding all my questions, all the alumni I met gave me  some form of helpful advice for applying to and surviving in college - information that I will definitely need soon. It was also great to get some insight into majoring in engineering in college, since several of the alumni had studied some form of engineering at Vanderbilt. I sat directly across from Eppa Rixey, a mechanical engineering major and valedictorian of his class, as well as Maggie Durlacher, who studied biomedical engineering and engineering science. Learning more about this field really made my goal of studying engineering in college seem much more realistic, and I'm really thankful to all the wonderful people I met for being so helpful.

Delectable desert!
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this ILC event and am glad that I was able to meet so many awesome people; while I didn't get the chance to talk to any of the sponsors, I'm still incredibly grateful for this incredible opportunity that they have created.

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