"Thank you YYGS for making me understand that I had potential inside me, and that I should not underestimate myself."

2017 ASE
Fatema from Pakistan

YYGS...wow! It has already come to an end!

Two weeks earlier, when I came here I was debating on whether I liked Psychology more or was it robotics that would give me the intellectual satisfaction I had aimed for. However, it was here that I learned that academia wasn't streamlined into distinct subjects as I had come to learn back in Pakistan; rather, it was the intersection between different ideas that made it so interesting. This, I believe, was one of the most important discoveries I made here.

From debating on global and pressing issues with some of the most curious and smart people in the world, in seminars and discussion groups, and to pre-suite check (disclaimer: we did stay up late after that on a few days), conversations in our dorms, I learned about the difference between knowledge and information, and I also learned how to acquire information to gain knowledge. And also of the importance of building ideas on simple ideas. (All due to lunch conversations with Dr. Honsberger).

The capstones have taught me one of the most important skills of research I had hoped to acquire for my university life. Initially, I loved the idea of research but I didn’t know how to since that skill is not given much importance in the academic setting I come from. However, the lab visits and the capstones gave me a very important insight into the thought processes that go into research and how to beware of biases. At the end, although I was very anxious about the idea of presentations and wanted to scamper in my room under the sheets (not exactly). I also learned how to present effectively and how to appeal to the audience that my idea was worth listening to.

Lastly, the highlight of the program was filing into WLH with a coffee from Blue State (they do sell amazing coffee there!), and listening to the professors on the frontiers of science, talking about their research and their area of expertise; I couldn’t have figured that research on sand would be a thing and so interesting to listen to. I will remember the knowledge from these lectures all my life!

Thank you, YYGS, for giving me the best opportunity of my life and thank you for making me understand that I had potential inside me and that I should not underestimate myself, and for getting the people who have become my family and myself together.

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