Even though summer is not yet finished I believe the best part is already behind me. 4 weeks ago I set out to Baltimore to attend a three week summer camp called CTY.  CTY is a camp that allows a gifted student to pick a college that contains the program, choose a course that it offers, and spend 3 weeks rigorously learning. It not only is a chance to learn a lot about something new, it also provides a unique opportunity to live with, talk to, and generally socialize with gifted children just like you, that come from all around the world.

Four weeks ago, I left home with high expectations, for I had already gone to this camp last summer, just at a different location. I had signed up for “Fast Paced High School Biology”, and was excited to learn about a topic I hadn’t really been exposed to. After flying for 8 hours, I arrived tired, but ready to start what I hoped would be 3 weeks of dedicated learning and bonding with friends I would hope to keep for the rest of my life.

The first day went by like a blur. First, I was quick to find my RA (residential assistant), who would be the one to watch over me and my 13 other hall mates for the next 3 weeks. I met all my hall mates and was astonished because of how diverse, nice, and accepting this group of kids were, I quickly fit right in. We settled in, unpacked, talked a bit, and went to sleep.

The next day we were woken up, bright and early, to go have breakfast. After eating we were sent to a room in one of the buildings, our classroom. Immediately after the teacher introduced himself and the course, I knew I would love it there. After the first class, we headed to lunch, and then went back for our afternoon session. When finished, we would go back, change, and get ready for “Activities”. Here we would go to different actives that we chose ourselves and spend the next 2 hours having fun and resting from the day of learning. After activities and dinner we would head to the class once again for the evening session. After which, we would get some time to socialize with others, and were then sent to sleep.

Quickly I created strong bonds with the people I lived with and as we began to delve further into the world of biology, learning about the cell, how it works and the different structures it contains, I knew I had fallen in love with the program. Each day we would learn new things in new ways, once, we even dissected a rat! After the session came to a close, I left with a full brain, with knowledge just begging to be used, but also an empty heart. I come to respect each and every one of my hall mates and leaving them was hard. Yet, while leaving, I tried to consider a quote given to us, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” With those words in my head I left a changed person, a better one.