"Each day, I met someone new and their thoughts made me critically look at my own beliefs, whether on certain issues or on general philosophies."

2017 IAS
Kayla from Ohio, USA

If I had to describe my Yale Young Global Scholars experience in one word, I would have to use, “ruminative,” where ruminative means “meditative or ponderous.” I am still processing all the information and experiences from Yale Young Global Scholars, but I am sure of a few things about YYGS: first, YYGS made me rediscover learning. YYGS made me remember how to be a student rather than a teacher, how to explore and embrace my curiosity, and how to be engaged in my learning environment again: it was like hearing an old favorite song and relearning the verses that I loved so dearly.

Secondly, YYGS gave me more questions than answers, but I cherish that fact: I am reevaluating the field of international affairs for my future career. I love the idea of studying international affairs, but if YYGS is any indicator of what it is like to study international affairs, I am not sure if it is the right field for me. I realize now that I do not love politics as much as I told myself I did: I love compromise, conflict resolution, and diversity/culture. I am considering international law and Peace & Conflict Resolution studies more seriously than before I attended YYGS.

Thirdly, YYGS exposed me to various points of view on numerous issues, which have evolved my opinions. Each day, I met someone new and their thoughts made me critically look at my own beliefs, whether on certain issues or on general philosophies. What I once considered to be final and concrete, are now more fluid and ambiguous. My opinions are in process of being reformed in a way that I had never truly considered.

Most importantly, Yale Young Global Scholars made me begin to think again. In my high school classes, I could go through my day without really thinking: I could just go through the motions of solving a math problem, regurgitating some science concept, or summarizing what my ethnic & cultural studies textbook said. At YYGS, I couldn’t just exist in the classroom: I had to be engaged, active, and most importantly, I had to think critically. I realized the vast amount of knowledge that I had no idea even existed. The lectures and seminars exposed me to topics and questions that I know that I will continue to ponder for at least this coming year, if not years beyond that – I am nowhere near finished thinking or reflecting on the experiences and revelations I encountered at Yale Young Global Scholars.

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For a more in-depth look into Kayla's YYGS experience, read her blog here: https://bravelittlebuckeye.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/yygs-in-1000-words-or-less/

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