Saturday, August 6, 2011

Becoming family

By Kathy Arellano (Canoga Park, CA)

When you receive an acceptance letter from the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program, you are in for an unexpected ride. In fact, our ten days here at Princeton can be described by two rather simple words: sleep deprivation.

As rising high school seniors, I think it is safe to say that we all have had our shares of sleepless nights. Whether we stay up doing homework, talking to our friends, or simply doing the usual — procrastinating — one may be able to safely say that such lack of rest is prevalent in our every day routine, and many of us typically promise to put an end to the cycle of sleeplessness. Yet, that mindset completely changes when you walk onto the floors of the Friend Building on the Princeton University campus.

The dedication and hard-work of all 21 students in SJP is both encouraging and inspirational. There are those who lose themselves in their articles, where no other world but the world of their subjects exists between their fingertips and the screen. There are those who lose themselves in the words of Robert George, Christina Paxton, and Stan Katz. There are those who lose themselves in the spirit of the moment, those who enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of the program, those who spend the little free time talking about their lives, their backgrounds, their struggles, and their successes with one another. Then there are those who remain in the living room, even after lights out, to talk about current controversial issues that reflect and rather influence each and every one of us. Whether we're staying up until 2 AM talking about the sexualization of women, Plato, and Socrates, or describing the glorious moment of college admission, such memories are what make each member of the SJP family unique and dear to my heart.

Though it may seem quite cliche, I truly believe that as members of a diverse nation, we courageously entered this journey together as strangers, and leave as life-long family and friends.

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