Monday, August 6, 2012

On worthwhile tiredness

By Makenna May (Coeur d’Alene, ID)

I knew that I would most likely suffer from sleeplessness and experience fatigue. And yes, that has been true. But it is what I didn’t know to expect that has made these first three days at Princeton nothing short of phenomenal.

First of all, the way that SJP has welcomed us in has been amazing. The counselors have repeatedly told us that SJP is like a big family, and it is true that everyone is so welcoming and kind—directors, counselors, and students alike. I made friends and felt at home right away. The directors bring their spouses, and many former students return as counselors to spend the 10 days with us.
The atmosphere of optimism and inspiration is what has surprised me the most. The counselors and directors are confident in us and truly believe we can excel in the nation’s best colleges. It has been such an honor to be surrounded by Ivy League alums and current students, giving me fresh energy with which to enter my senior year. We have already heard from Brian Rokus '99 of CNN, who shared his experiences covering 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the shootings at Virginia Tech. Last night, Griff Witte '00 of The Washington Post told us about his career as foreign correspondent and about the time he has spent in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gaza Strip. Melvin McCray '74 shared his experience producing and editing documentaries for ABC News. He encouraged us to dedicate ourselves to our passions and to do the work we need to excel in those fields. His message that “life is so much more fulfilling when you follow your passion” is thrilling because here at SJP we are gaining the resources to do just that.

I never before considered myself capable of such great accomplishments as these, but the SJP community is determined to help us achieve our goals. The one-on-one meetings about college admissions and personal attention from college counselors are such gifts. It is so fun to get to ask counselors about their experiences at Ivy League schools and have them encourage us to apply to their schools!

So yes, there is fatigue and we could all use a bit more sleep. But the excitement and optimism of everyone here is more than sufficient to carry us through the rest of the program.

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