"Throughout the process, we have grown intellectually and emotionally, learned to open our minds in order to see the world in many different ways, and been inspired."

Grace Masback
Oregon, USA

This is my final post about the final day of YYGS, so I’m going to keep it short but sweet. Today was the day that the program came to the end. The day we packed out bags, said our goodbyes, and started thinking about home.

The day started with a bang with a lecture by legendary Cold War historian John Gaddis offering us valuable insight into Grand Strategy, multi-tasking, and the wisdom of Spiderman. Later, Ted (a.k.a. Donald Trump) offered some closing remarks, drawing on his own life experiences and reminding us of the fable of the Hedgehog and the Fox.

After Ted’s talk, we were sent back to our rooms for a whirlwind of packing and making the final preparations to leave. We stuffed our bags, scrubbed out floors, and emptied that trash bins that felt as if they had been overflowing since day one.

We then rushed to our capstone groups for one final reunion. We took pictures, bonded over memories, and were awarded our certificates of completion for the YYGS IAS program. The atmosphere was one of jubilation and celebration but also sadness as we contemplated our impending return home. We finished the night with a rowdy talent show, led by our favorite interns and featuring impressive performances ranging from traditional dancing to spoken word poetry.

These past two weeks have been exhausting to say the least. Much has been thrown at us. We have been expected to throw much back. Throughout the process, we have grown intellectually and emotionally, learned to open our minds in order to see the world in many different ways, and been inspired. Saying goodbye is bittersweet.

What each of us will do when we leave this program is uncertain. Whether we will meet again in the future remains to be seen. Yet, we will all sleep well tonight. And in the morning, we will go our separate ways, staying forever connected in the way that the wonders of the digital world allow us to do. And maybe, just maybe, we will meet again, overseas, in the U.S., or at Yale.

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