"This, my friends, is YYGS. This is true education. This is true friendship. This is the real experience."

TIE 2016
Haardik Kumar
India

As I slept right through my first two alarms to wake me up at 4am so I could wish my friends goodbye, I didn't think the day could get any worse. However, this was just the beginning.

When I finally managed to wake up and go down to the courtyard, everything was suddenly so different. Rather than people playing football or throwing a Frisbee, I saw people carrying huge suitcases and keeping aside their linens. The sight was a huge mix of emotions; there were people making some last few memories, some people clicking the last few selfies while others were crying and hugging each other.

This is what YYGS does to you. When I first entered the campus, I hadn't thought my life would change so drastically in just two weeks. What is two weeks after all? It's not that long, right? Wrong.

I still remember the hollowed halls of Jonathan Edwards college, the off limits swing in the courtyard, the legendary pool table, the building of Skull and Bones, the grand pianos, the friendly faces of all instructors and the extremely cute faces of some of their children.

The night before, me and my friends did nothing more than roam the streets of New Haven; visiting all the places we had been to one last time. Insomnia cookies, Froyo, Yorkside pizza, Ashley's ice cream - just one last time. As my phone gallery went from having 3200 pictures to having 4300, it still didn't quite feel like we were ready to give up. No. Something was different. We couldn't let this end already. It was almost time for the JE gates to close but we first rushed to Pierson to hug our SEE friends one last goodbye.

In the morning again, the WhatsApp group chat was flooded with "WHERE ARE YOU???". I rushed to meet my friends for the last time and we all went out again. There was something different about the day though. It was still the same weather, there were still the same people, but the talks weren't the same. Actually, nobody was really speaking that much. Just sitting, holding hands and hugging each other with the occasional tear drop falling from our eyes.

This, my friends, is YYGS. This is true education. This is true friendship. This is the real experience. Even though I don't remember each and every detail, I do remember that the two weeks were the most amazing two weeks of my life. It's more than a summer program, it's our summer family.

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