A Love Letter to My YYGS Community


2018 SDSE
Jasselene from Virginia, USA

A love letter to my YYGS community:

As I write this and reflect on my last two weeks at YYGS, I can’t help but smile. It’s such a magical thing to fall in love with so many people in only a matter of days. Every hello and every smile connected all 250 of us more and more as the session progressed. I went into this program worrying that I wasn’t going to make any friends; I left this program with the greatest friends imaginable. Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing your stories with me, for hugging me tightly, and for dancing with me in the courtyard, even as we were being rushed in for suite check. Thank you for laughing so hard with me that our stomachs hurt, thank you for comforting me, and thank you for loving me. Your kindness, compassion, and love for this world have touched me deeply. It has been the greatest privilege to exist alongside you wonderful, brilliant people.

A few of my personal highlights had to be: salsa night (of course), those nightly ice cream trips, filming the ‘In My Feelings’ challenge about four times with Zoe, spontaneously dancing to ‘We’re All In This Together’ with Thato in the dining hall, and then getting to perform it in the talent show with all of YOU! I cannot thank you all enough for all of the memories, no matter how big or small. I will carry everything I’ve learned and experienced at YYGS with me for the rest of my life and please remember that you all will always have a friend in me.

In my favorite book, A Corner of the Universe by Ann Martin, the main character’s uncle tells her she’s one of the few people that can lift the corners of the universe. Lifting the corners of the universe is “all about changing what's handed to you, about poking around a little, lifting the corners, seeing what's underneath, poking that. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't, but at least you're exploring. And life is always more interesting that way (Martin).” When I reflect back on my last two weeks at YYGS, I don’t cry or feel sad, I feel warmth and I smile because, for two weeks, we got to exist in our own little corner of the universe. We’ll never exist in that corner again, but that’s what makes it so special. I want to thank you all for lifting the corners of my universe. May our paths cross again.

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