"Learning did not come only from the lectures or seminars, but also from the breakout sessions and by speaking with other students."

2018 PLE
Rafael from Mexico



“What else…”

While making my application, I had no hopes. Deep inside I felt there was no chance that I would be accepted to YYGS. This feeling was a mistake.

After repeated times of telling myself "Try it… you never know…” I convinced myself to apply. Three months later, my heart jumped when a “Dear Rafael, Congratulations!” letter arrived. I was not prepared for the best two weeks in my life.

Before attending YYGS, I was not sure what my passion was. I could not picture my future career and what to study, I only knew it had something to do with law. Yet, this program has lightened up a path on my interests. After these two weeks, I had the opportunity to picture myself going to college, waking up every day to study international relations and international law. Every day, regardless of the lecture or seminar I learned something new, met new people, and came up with many questions that required the need for knowledge.

Sometimes, I felt that learning did not come only from the lectures or seminars, but also from the breakout sessions and by speaking with other students while to and from the campus. People have so many ideas that, once heard, give a completely new perspective that changes everything you’ve ever known, everything you thought was right. Meeting new people was, by far, one of the best things; from the start of “Hi, I’m Rafael from Mexico,” to conversations on how illegal immigrants affect our countries and the world. By the time you realize, you’ve gone way out of topic.

Personally, I felt scared of not being able to make friends, not being able to connect with others. In my mind I pictured myself eating all alone and not having anyone to talk to. Fear roamed my mind. Yet, the very first day I arrived, I was greeted with tons of people, some who felt exactly like I felt. I found similar people, people that came with my same cultural background, someone with similar stories to mine, but I also found people with so many differences and cultural backgrounds I was not even aware of. I could meet a small part of everywhere around the world. On my very first day, my perspective changed, my fear ended and, immediately, I started feeling better. Some of these people I met here will be always in my memory.

My recommendation to you is to try it, try new things; go for it. Don’t be afraid to change. The world is unpredictable. And when you feel you’re not the right candidate, you’re wrong. You should not compare yourself to others, you have your own qualities and your uniqueness is the thing that counts. Therefore, there is no excuse for not trying.

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