Sunday, July 10, 2016

Unforgettable, That's What Brown Is

Who would have ever known that I would take Women and Leadership at Brown University, possibly the best course that the Ivy League Connection has to offer. My two-week experience there exceeded beyond my expectations. I had seen previous ILCers who took this same class return empowered and enlightened. Now, I can proudly say that I have become part of that group.
Brown cohort <3
From my first day arriving in the East with my cohort, we were already bonding together by touring around Boston, Wellesley College and Providence. We had so much fun exploring these places and getting a feel of the East Coast vibes. All the while we were anticipating the Women and Leadership course.
We had a Brown tour and checked in our dorms two days before our first day of class. I fell in love with the campus and the academic structure of Brown. The college students we met were also warm and open people. The following day, we had our orientation. It was my birthday and although I felt slightly homesick, I had a good feeling about being in the Leadership Institute. I already made new friends that day and I just felt so welcomed and positive about the upcoming two weeks.
Sara my roommate

I also met my first ever roommate, Sara, who is Colombian but lives in Spain. She also took Women and Leadership with me and I've watched her grow so open and comfortable with everyone at Brown during our two weeks there. We got really close and I couldn't ask for a better roommate.

On the first day of class, I remember looking for the classroom with some friends and then Tina, our instructor, found us and led us to class. It was all incredibly life-changing moments from that point on. Tina and Christine was the best instructor and TA I could ever ask for to facilitate our class. They were super helpful and stepped out of their own time to help us whenever we needed it. Tina and Christine are such genuine and inspiring women. They always encouraged us to challenge ourselves by stepping out of our comfort zones and being open and respectful about all the different perspectives in class.
Best class ever
Our class was very diverse, having people from different places like India, China, Colombia, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Minnesota. I never imagined that I would meet all these incredibly smart and passionate feminists. Everyone was so actively engaged in class and always listened attentively and spoke with deep insight. It was inspiring and motivated me to become a better person and stand up for different issues in society.

The course material was challenging but very intriguing. We took a sociological approach to Women and Leadership, seeing how gender is a socially constructed concept and how intersectionality affects people's privileges, power and oppression in society. It got me to start questioning everything I see in the world and the media. I feel that we've learned so much that not a lot of adults are aware about. I really am grateful that I got to participate in this engaging and eye-opening class.
Matching fashionable tick socks
There was never a dull moment at Brown. We had workshops along with our classes, which covered listening, leadership, diversity, bystander intervention and public speaking skills. I know for sure that I've developed so much from these sessions into a great leader. There also was a Challenge Course, which pushed us to be leaders in teamwork and trust each other.
Group hug

Some of the most memorable moments at Brown was getting close to my new friends. We spent so much time together bonding and studying together. It would be an amazing dream for us to go to college at Brown together. My main friend group with my cohort, Fern, Sachi, Lauren, Sara and Ishani worked so well together, and we're what people today would call "squad goals."

Our last day before we left for home was definitely unforgettable and bittersweet. It was hard saying goodbye to everyone, but I know we'll see each other again. It's a small world, as they say.

My trip to Summer at Brown was a marvelous success and I can't wait to tell people in my school and community all about it. This program was perfect and channeled so much enthusiasm and motivation in me to keep going ahead in life strong and empowered. We will make a good difference in this world.

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