"In fact, an important takeaway from these lectures is that, being able to ask and solve questions is important, but what’s more important is the ability to explain and communicate, because this is the only way knowledge can be spread & applied."

ASE 2016
Jasmine Jiawei Chen
Australia

I actually don’t know what to write, because there’re so many things to write about.

Still can’t believe YYGS is already finished! It feels ridiculously short — as if the second half of June just disappeared off the calendar; but at the same time, it also feels like that I’ve been at JE and with these awesome people for ages.

Looking at the full calendar from the last two weeks — literally full from 8am - 9pm, can’t believe I’ve made this journey. Perhaps that’s how everyone bonds so quickly.

These two weeks are mind-blowing, especially at the experience that can be offered by the amazing people — or more precisely, the coolest nerds — from all over the world. You can write or recite out digits of pi and have people continue on when you’re stuck; you can be stuck on sudoku and solve it eventually with friends who won’t laugh at you for being nerdy…

At the closing remarks Mike talked about how to be a great student & “win” the school system. He mentioned the learning pyramid, from remembering, to evaluating & creating. I’m quite surprised that he believes that in order to win high school systems, all you need is to be able to memorize, yet at the end of university, you will need to be able to reach the top of the pyramid. Perhaps this is what makes college so much more challenging?

A lot of people complained about capstone, but to be honest, I really did enjoy it… Our group (MUSIC CRYPTOGRAPHY!!!) made decisions very quickly, didn’t made any grudges about the work… We had most attributes of a good team, but I feel like one of the most important bonding “agent” is our love for music. Sneaking into another room to do capstone because we want to play music and sing. How much better can it go? Therefore the conclusion is, musicians really are cooler than normal people! And we've decided to carry on the project outside of YYGS simply because it has opened our eyes to so many amazing new things and working with these people has been an extremely enjoyable experience.

Last night’s talent show. It was amazing how everyone is so talented but close to no competition (even though there’s pretty much nothing to compete for I suppose?), & the cheering for others in the show really made me feel part of this amazing family — only to walk out of the Sudler Hall at 9:47pm realizing that I might never see most of these people again…

This morning I thought I would be fine & hold it together, based on my past frequent-school-changing experience. However, as I did the countdown for leaving, it got harder and harder to hold it together… When I got the call from the taxi, I could hardly hold it together… Tears were flooding out & I had to run out of JE gate before anyone sees me crying… I’m so surprised by the emotional attachment and bonds that can develop in merely 2 weeks…

The late nights, the serenading from dorm C, the rant about food & the laugh about trolling people with vegemite… where else can you get such a fantastic and global experience other than YYGS?

Now I feel like I’ve been talking way too much about the random things I’ve done at YYGS… Now back to the serious things. Academic. Although truly, it’s amazing to be able to learn things without having to stress about exams. I think one of my proudest achievements in YYGS is that, I managed to stay awake for all 10 lectures, whether it’s particle physics, astrophysics, or nanotechnology, tissue engineering.

Most of the lectures were amazing, and it was great to have professors who are excellent in their fields, but at the same time able to communicate and explain their ideas clearly to those who do not have significant background knowledge. In fact, an important takeaway from these lectures is that, being able to ask and solve questions is important, but what’s more important is the ability to explain and communicate, because this is the only way knowledge can be spread & applied.

Seminars are one of my favourite parts about YYGS. All of the seminars are insanely interesting (maybe because when I chose it, I wasn’t trying to be a serious learner???) Recording technology, technology in theatre, psychology of memes, optical illusions… Why try to do serious topics? It’s to explore your interests and apply it in the real world! Maybe that’s why people always tell you, follow your passion. (I am seriously not a serious theoretical mathematician or scientist haha!)

Discussion sessions were a blast. Although some groups were playing mafia & complaining about having too much time for discussions, I personally find discussions really fun. I really like the idea of first brainstorming a list of questions in small groups without any discussion, choose the top ones, and share it with the big discussion groups. The process of brainstorming questions is usually challenging, but extremely enjoyable. There’s an atmosphere of curiosity in the room, which is absolute amazing and so much better than having people who can only complain, “I don’t get it”



Well I guess the key takeaway is that, having super bright, intelligent & like-minded peers/nerds around can be a fantastic experience, so I’ll just have to work hard and aim to get into a good college that’ll be full of these amazing people!

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