ILC started in December, and that sounds so long ago. Those early days were some stressful days.
From fretting about whether my essays were good enough, to regret after I came out of the interview room after taking such a long time, I was doubting myself of whether I was going to get in. When I did get accepted, I was so excited. The people in my cohort seemed so nice and I knew from that moment that I would have a lot of fun with them.
|The beginning: Packing|
I can gladly admit that ILC has made me a more confident and responsible person. The dinner where we met Vanderbilt alumns opened me up. I was able to talk freely to adults I had just met, and it was so fun. They all looked so official and were all very successful people. Giving a speech in front of them was very intimidating, but they were very supportive and that built up so much confidence in me.
|Jackie taking a picture|
Then came the tutorial and orientation, where I was able to meet everyone else in ILC, and got to fool around with my best friends. It made me excited that the time to leave was getting nearer and nearer.
Finally, it was time to leave. I couldn't have been more excited. Packing had gotten stressful in my house, and I couldn't wait for more freedom. However, I still had butterflies from leaving my parents. This would be the longest I've stayed away from my parents. Once we got on the shuttle, it was, as we all say, LIT!
My cohort group and our chaperone bonded greatly during the one week at Atlanta. We had so muchfun, and didn't want to part once VSA started. I don't know how anyone can have so much fun while constantly moving to different states and in such less time, but we did. We bonded over different things, and met new people, like Simon, our fabulous tour guide.
|Simon with us|
At VSA, I met so many different people. As you've read from my previous blog, the different people there forced me to step outside of my comfort zone greatly. I made so many great friends there: Taylor (there were two of them), Nakhul, who I was just on the phone with, Sarah, Emma, Olivia my lovely roommate who I could pour my heart out to, Alex who was so fierce and smart, Lainey who could make weird noises, Greg who looked like John Green, and so many other people. (By the way, I was able to successfully get other people on board with calling him John too, so I'm not the only crazy one.) All this has made me much more confident and social.
When people say that ILC has changed their life, they're not lying. It's the complete truth. There is so much packed in four weeks that it's almost impossible to come back unchanged. It's harder to notice the changes in me since it's only been a few days, but I know that I feel a difference. And it's the best difference I have ever felt.
|When we went to an art station once|