All it takes to change your life forever is one decision. I made that decision at the end of last year, to compete for a position as a 2012 ILCers. When I first heard Don talking about the ILC, I thought it was a one of the best opportunities I would get in a long time. I had just finished taking Physics and knew that I wanted to dive deeper into it. I saw the Physics Academy at Penn on the list and just knew it was destined to be. I had to go for it. Then I became one of the lucky ones to get accepted. I was shocked. Every other interviewee, appeared more qualified than me, but somehow, I was picked. Excitement rushed through me as I realized that I would be going from coast to coast.
At the time, I did not stop and think about what I did. I just went with the flow, trying to get to summer as fast as possible. I enjoyed the mandatory events because they gave me a chance to met the faces behind the program. I will have to say that everyone: Don, Charles Ramsey, and Madeline Kronenberg each talked with great passion towards the ILC, which made everyone more excited about the summer. I felt that the dinner at La Folie, was the best one because it gave me a chance to met my cohort, the sponsors, and eat some of the best food ever.
The first week of touring colleges and dinning with admissions officers left me speechless. I have never in my life looked at colleges and I didn’t even know what I should be looking at aside from if they had the class I needed. The information sessions and dinners gave me a sense of what makes a colleges perfect for the student. At that moment, I started my list of colleges, some made the cut, others didn’t. While we weren’t touring or dining with admissions officers, I had a grew friendships with some of the best people in the world. Yes, I am talking about the Penn cohort: Alyssa, Cameron, Clara, Chloe, Ivette, Mariko, and who can forget our chaperone Ian.
The Physics Academy at Penn was more than I could have ever expected. We dove really deep into physics really fast. I had to push myself to understand to extras, which were essential in doing the labs. I can still remember our first lab, second, third, etc.. but the first ones were warm-ups for the hard stuff. The harder labs were left me in utter confusion. But to get out of my confusion, was the Physics Team, which was made up of Bill, Ryan, Craig, Brian, and Penny. I owe each one of them endless amounts of gratitude because they made my summer at Penn, the best summer ever, and will most likely remain the best one. Bill was a true example of doing what you love. For 15 years, he has done the Physics Academy, and it appears as if he has never lost his passion or excitement for the program. I want to be just like him, love my career with all my heart, never losing my passion or enthusiasm.
After taking the Physics Academy at Penn, I have come to realize that there are two things that are immeasurable: how awesome summer at Penn is and the amount of gratitude I have towards Charles Ramsey, Madeline Kronenberg, and Don. My summer at Penn was beyond any level fun. I had a chance to make friends with people from every continent, except Antarctica…but I am working on that. Everyone who tries to describe how great summer at Penn is, is underselling it because summer at Penn is, as I mentioned before, indescribable. I can say thank you to Don, Charles Ramsey, and Madeline Kronenberg over a million times a day, for the rest of my life, yet I still will not be able to express my gratitude. They gave me the chance to experience college life before I even started thinking about colleges. On top of that, they gave me a chance to sit and eat dinner with college admissions officers, where I was able to talk with the same people who will be judging my application. This was all possible because I was given the opportunity, I decided to take it, instead of ignoring it. My whole future depends on the decisions I make today. The ILC has opened my eyes, now its my turn to keep them open and use them.