"It was just this kind of intellectual stimulation that I was hoping for when I decided to attend YYGS."

Maria Neely

Every day at SPI created new experiences, challenges, fond memories. My two weeks at Yale increased my knowledge of epidemics, climate change, the brain, and of course Vannevar Bush! The program expanded my horizons in every dimension and in ways I didn’t realize were possible. The professors were phenomenal and were more than willing to answer questions. I especially loved attending lunches with the professors through a random lottery; I really understood the professor better.

While the lectures and seminars were fascinating, I learned most from my esteemed peers. Meeting people from all over the world, from all walks of life, was fascinating. I often left lectures astonished by the intelligence of my peers. For instance, I’ll never forget during the first lecture when Professor Wittenstein asked for interpretations of a quote. I was intimidated by the responses of my peers. How could I ever contribute to a crowd of such brilliant individuals? I quickly learned that it was quite easy. When I asked simple questions for clarification or engaged in a deep, philosophical conversations, my queries were met with smiles and enthusiasm. Not only were my two hundred peers insanely smart, but they were also extremely friendly and helpful. It was just this kind of intellectual stimulation that I was hoping for when I decided to attend YYGS. In my two weeks of YYGS, I made life- long friendships from every corner of the world.

The residential life aspect of YYGS was just as exciting as the academics. Walking into the program, you automatically had friends from your suite and also from your family (J-fam for life). As the days went on, your circle continued to expand and by the end of the program, there were certainly more familiar faces than unfamiliar faces. After a day filled with lectures, seminars and capstone, it was nice to relax in the Buttery, a common space for all the students. From watching prodigious ping pong to lively Risk games, there were always a plethora of options during free time. However, none came close to my favorite free time activity: getting Insomnia cookies. Nothing can beat the taste of ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies melting in your mouth. Plus, I am now convinced cookies taste better when they are delivered. In any case, it was nearly impossible to feel bored during YYGS! All in all, my experience at YYGS will be forever cherished and has made me excited about the prospects of entering college next fall. I have no doubt in my mind that YYGS was made up of tomorrow’s leaders. Until the reunion!

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