"The friendships I made over these two weeks will forever take a place close to my heart – the smiles and laughter of each and every yygs-er has ingrained itself into my memory."
16 years old
Realisation dawned on me… “I’m going to America!!!”, and not only that, but I’m going to Yale, attending seminars and lectures and essentially meeting with 199 other future leaders of our world. At that time, when I first got my acceptance letter (which I actually received on the 1st April due to the time difference and hence, initially prompted me to believe that this was an April Fool’s joke), the mere thought of stepping into the prestigious grounds of Yale was thrilling, yet slightly daunting. Having never ever take a 25 hour journey to get to a destination before, nor ever been to a country that uses Fahrenheit and a whole new metric system, you might be able to imagine the jittering flits of concern I had (alongside of course, my absolutely indescribable euphoria) when I was on the shuttle, moments away from reaching the doorsteps of JE.
And yet I didn’t need to worry. At all.
From the first second I walked into the JE courtyard, I was greeted by a chorus of voices crying out “is that Jess?”, “we talked on Facebook right?”, “how was your flight?”, “are you jetlagged?” and I wholeheartedly felt welcome in this foreign, yet breathtakingly beautiful environment. The friendships I made over these two weeks will forever take a place close to my heart – the smiles and laughter of each and every yygs-er has ingrained itself into my memory.
This was the most amazing two weeks of my life, and without a moment of hesitation, I strongly urge those who are thinking of applying for this program to apply. Because trust me, this will also be the most amazing experience of your life too!