"With each new person I meet, I am blown away by their unique sense of determination, passion, and drive."

Grace Masback
Oregon, USA

Day 7 Blog: Feeling Inspired

One of the most exciting aspects of this program is that I have the opportunity every day to be inspired by any one of the 249 impressive, accomplished, and incredible people taking part in the program. With each new person I meet, I am blown away by their unique sense of determination, passion, and drive. Never before have I been in an environment populated by such a diverse group of like-minded individuals. No matter how different our backgrounds and home cities, we share a common drive to experiment, learn, and accomplish.

After having some of the pressure lifted off our shoulders after meeting yesterday’s major capstone deadline, I went into today feeling upbeat and relaxed. I was intrigued by the lecture about relations between India and Pakistan, had the opportunity to chat with several new people at lunch, and enjoyed my seminar about the responsibility of multi-national corporations.

Today’s slight lull in the workload also gave me the opportunity to be more reflective. An interesting aspect of this program being part of one of the world’s leading universities is the fact that college and life plans are top-of-mind. Whether it’s in casual conversation, a lecture, or a written piece, we are constantly being asked what we want to be, what we want to study, how we hope to spend our lives.

When people ask me these types of questions, I like admitting that I have no idea, not because I am devoid of curiosity and fervor, but because there are so many things about which I am currently passionate, so many things that I love to do and so many areas that I have yet to explore. In my mind, I will not be able to say what I plan to do in the world until I have more experiences, meet new people, and see the world. It is through people, experiences, and a bit of trial and error that I will begin to see my true life path, not just continue doing things that I thought I liked to do in high school.

We concluded the day with a college admissions talk, which conveyed some of the core values and guiding principles that direct Yale as an academic institution. In listening to the discussion, I came to realize that one of the magical things about Yale is that you don’t need to know what you want to do as a freshman. You may come in hoping to study a certain topic or grow in a certain area and then take a class as a freshman or meet a professor as a sophomore that completely rewrites your future.

In many ways, the YYGS program is a microcosm of the robust opportunity for growth we will experience when we reach college. We have ample time to emerge from our comfort zones and to use these two weeks to learn from others, be inspired by their work, grow our interests, and experiment with ideas and subject matters.

I still can’t say that I know exactly what I want to do with my life, but as a result of this program I have started to look at the future with a newfound confidence. I won’t emerge from the two weeks with all the answers, but the process of considering my options will be energized, better informed, and full of excitement.

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