"I was constantly amazed at the intelligence, accomplishments, humility, and friendliness of everyone I met."

Alexander Summers
17 years old
USA

The most important lesson that I learned from the Yale Young Global Scholars program might surprise you. It did not come from the lectures with incredible Yale faculty, the incredible discussion created by the seminars, or even having lunch with former national security advisor Tom Donilon (as incredible as that was). Even though those moments were incredible, the most important lesson I learned came from the people I shared Jonathan Edwards College with for almost two weeks.

Whether it was trying to eat seven scoops of ice cream with four other people five minutes before a career talk, or having a serious conversation about the legitimacy of the drone program being used to target United States citizens, interactions with these people were what truly made the program incredible. I was constantly amazed at the intelligence, accomplishments, humility, and friendliness of everyone I met. Only at YYGS could four people (including me, of course) give a completely serious presentation on the United States' best course of action in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and then turn around and create a proposal for the pacification of Chechnya from a Russian perspective.

It wasn't all fun and games. We watched some particularly upsetting movies, talked about controversial topics, and had personal struggles as well. But in my mind those moments only strengthened the fun times of hanging out in the buttery playing foosball, pool, and (yes, at one point this actually happened) foospool. They only made our bonds that much deeper.

At Yale Young Global Scholars, the most important lesson I learned is that it is possible for people from all over the world to meet each other and become a family in two weeks.

I firmly believe that that knowledge will help me for the rest of my life: and even if it that knowledge fails at one point, I always know that I can call on my family to help me out.

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