Thursday, January 5, 2017

My YYAS Experience

Sope (on the right) with a new YYAS friend

Honestly, I never thought I would get into YYAS when I applied. I was just the fourteen year-old girl who played basketball, had good, but not great grades. I was kind of scared, not telling anyone about my application until I got accepted, not really believing the acceptance letter in front of my eyes were mine.
My YYAS experience was a mix of emotions. It was scary meeting so many people from Yale University, a place I had only heard of. It was also fun making new friends from all over Africa, seeing people from places I’d only heard of on the news, playing games with people I didn’t know even existed. It was exhilarating sharing experiences and discussing with fellow African students, and meeting kids from other schools. It was silly, seeing university students whom you’d expect to be uptight having fun like they were ten year-olds, making jokes and playing goofy games with us during family time. It was also saddening, saying goodbye to those wonderful people at the end of the week, people I’d never thought I’d be so attached to after seven days. The YYAS program was one experience that I would love to have over and over again. My experience was a bitter-sweet one because it brings a wave of nostalgia every time I remember it, as remember the awesome people I might never see again, but it’s sweet because I would never trade that experience for anything in the world.
Sope Olusegun-Lartey
YYAS 2016