Two colleges, one summer

A Reflection on High School Summer Experiences,
By America, CRSM Class of 2019

This summer I was blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Illinois Institute of Technology’s psychology summer program as well as Marquette University’s Summer Leadership Institute. Both strongly influenced me, and I couldn’t be more proud about having had attended both of these programs.

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is located in the near South Side of Chicago. Getting there was quite the process… a train from the Waukegan Metra station to the Ogilvie station, a walk to the subway, the subway, and then more walking to IIT.

I didn’t know it then, but that process taught me a lot. It taught me about communities, and the different ways people lived. The busyness of the city was new to me. It felt overwhelming in a sense commuting with a large amount of people. But upon doing so, it made me realize that we all had one thing in common and it was that we were all just ready to take on our days, and learn something new.

At first, I wasn’t very open to the idea of meeting new people. It was nerve-racking to me to be in an environment with people I didn’t know. It has been a while since I have had to meet new people. But it was almost as if I had a guardian angel with me because upon arriving at my program, I instantly made a friend and from there I made more and more. This made me feel greatly at ease because I didn’t really know what to expect from this program.

I just knew that psychology has always been something I have been so genuinely interested in but hadn’t had the time to take at CRSM because I have always decided to take on the challenge of taking AP courses.

The fact that I didn’t have any expectations is what made my experience the best one it could possibly be. I learned so much about psychology, and how if you really think about it it’s all around us. I was able to grow out of my comfort zone as well and conduct real life experiments in which I created a hypothesis and collected data with the help of a partner.

It was hard to go up to people at Navy Pier or Millennium Park because as an individual, you know that sometimes people aren’t so open to surveys and feel that people are just trying to scam and waste time. But all it took was positivity and a smile, the feedback was the best it could have been.

To my surprise, being a CRSM student worked to my advantage, all of the communication skills I have developed through the Corporate Work Study Program and Student Ambassadors really helped with making the experience as good as it was. As an upcoming senior I’d encourage all underclassmen to apply to this program because it will certainly teach you a lot, and there just isn’t a simple way to express how impacting this program ends up to be.

Marquette is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I never knew about Marquette until one of my close friends talked to me about the university upon going to a 4th of July weekend vacation with her family as an upcoming sophomore.

The words that came out of my friends mouth were always so positive and I genuinely grew interested in the school as well. I conducted a lot of research on the school and fell in love with their motto of “being the difference”, their service, what the school was about, and the majors/minors that they provided. Specifically their nursing program at the time because I have always wanted to become a nurse.

I knew from then on that it was a school I’d actually want to consider attending in the Fall of 2019. When I was nominated to attend Marquette’s Leadership Institute, although I didn’t really show it, I was very excited. I imagined myself in this program on their campus taking the experience in as I walked through the streets.

This is exactly how I felt when I attended the program. The program was amazing, the people were so kind and willing to share all their knowledge with me. The social justice and college panels I attended where all so eye-opening.

Coming from the Waukegan area, you realize that sometimes you just focus on the social justice issues that are happening in your hometown, and we never really stop and think about what it’s like in other areas.

Going to Milwaukee I learned about their social justice problems and I realized that there are a lot of unsolved social justice problems in the world that need to be fixed. As a professor at Marquette said, though, “the difference starts with you, the newer generations.” These words are words I will forever cherish, and hope I live up to.

Besides the panels, I learned a lot about community, self growth, being the difference, and team-building as well. I loved the environment that I was in, and felt like I really belonged there. At times I would stop and think to myself how lucky I was to be attending a program like the one I was attending. The experience was unforgettable, likewise the people I met were as well. It’s an experience I will never forget, and hope future CRSM students continue to enjoy.