Saturday, July 12, 2014

Empire State of Mind

Today was very difficult and bittersweet. I woke up early to get a last meal with my roommates at Absolute Bagels down the street. It was sad to know that this was our last time being together, but it was also nice to know that we would all be leaving on good terms. However, that may also be because they did not see me crying on the plane ride back to California. My three weeks at Columbia have affected me greatly as the person I want to see myself become. Through some shenanigans, I managed to pull through, but it would not have been possible without the special people who helped me along the way, including new friends, old friends, and family members.
I will miss walking by Low Library everyday.
My awesome Con Law class!

I never would have thought that one place and one class could create  thousands of amazing memories. I call Carman 1301-A, Columbia University my home but I am not going back to that home. Columbia is an amazing place and it feels foolish to think that I thought it was just a dream for me. I made it there, and I learned so much. Looking back, I cannot believe that I was put into a class with such brilliant people who opened my eyes to all the viewpoints there are in politics as well as the philosophy that goes into interpreting law. I cannot wait to bring that knowledge back to my community, especially my debate team, and let everyone know how an Ivy League school has personally affected my life in the best way possible. The experiences I had will last a lifetime and the people I met will affect me for the rest of my life. I will miss that home of mine, but I know all good things must come to an end.

Although I learned more in that three-week class than I have in some year-long classes, what I will miss most is the Columbia environment. Everyone I met there was unique and I was able to build amazing relationships with people in a way that I would have never expected possible in such a short amount of time (just three weeks!). New York is wild, wonderful, and a dream come true. I will miss it dearly, but I do think it was an appropriate time to leave (it's definitely not like I was getting homesick or anything). Although I love the atmosphere, I do not think I will be applying to Columbia my senior year. It is stunning and a fantastic place to go to school, but I cannot imagine myself in that bustling city environment. Columbia is in the heart of it the big city and I cannot imagine being able to focus with everything at my fingertips, or be able to stay grounded amidst it all.

Above all else though, I will miss the people. They changed my life and I feel dumb for taking them for granted when I was there. These are people like my RA, Kayleigh who was one of the best people I have met in my life to Maria, the nicest person in class, to Keira my roommate whose face I will miss seeing every day. It is so weirdto know that I can no longer have the Columbia experience every day. Time flew by way too fast. Overall, I will miss it very dearly, from trips to Times Square to walking by Low Library every day. I will return home to help my community and open their eyes to opportunities that we CAN achieve outside of California. My class was amazing, my new friends are amazing, my experience was amazing, and I am changed. Now, it is time for my old routine, like sleeping in my wonderful, wonderful bed. It was a real and awesome program and I found out a lot about myself on this three-week life-changing experience and week-long college tour. I left Columbia having conquered knew territory, in my state of mind and in the city.
A selfie with Kayleigh, the best RA ever!

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