Sunday, July 19, 2015

'I felt like I was a college student'

By Mansi Pandya, a senior at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN.

July 10, 2015
I chose to be part of the Balfour Pre-College Academy to become more familiar with the idea of a college education. It takes more than one-day campus visits to understand college or to even get the college feel. Because the Balfour Program spans the course of one week, I hope to leave the program with more than just facts and figures. I want to experience a sense of community and see how it feels to be a part of a family of more than 40,000 individuals. I want to get to know the staff and faculty on a personal level to get a sense of whether they are student-focused. Throughout the week, I hope to get an inside look into the university and everything it has to offer. Despite its external beauty, I want to see if the same aesthetics are present within the university’s internal system. After my weeklong stay at a university, I believe I will be able to make more informed college decisions and support my choices with more than just statistics. In this sense, I feel as if I will be able to think critically during my senior year of high school and commit the next four years of my life to a university that is the right fit for me. As a scholar, the Balfour Academy will push me to become a competitive candidate for scholarships and admission to colleges. In the end, I hope that the extended campus visit not only makes me more knowledgeable, but also introduces me to the mindset of a successful college student.
July 19, 2015
After my experience at the Balfour College Program, I am excited to start college. Even though the program only lasted a week, I felt like I was a college student. My roommate was randomly assigned, I had to budget my meal plan, and I navigated through the campus to get to my classes on time. The counselors, students, and guest speakers were some of the most genuine individuals I have ever encountered. They allowed us to explore our curiosity without the fear of doing or saying something wrong. With this in mind, I learned a lot about myself and how I want my future to unfold. As a mostly reserved individual, this program inspired me to get out of my comfort zone. I am leaving the program with so many meaningful relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime. We were able to talk face-to-face with the director of admissions, scholarships, and financial aid. Career counselors were more than happy to provide resources for us to make informed career choices. We were forced to think critically, and open our minds to the diverse world around us and consider our global community. This program gave Indiana University a personality that I would never have been able to realize on my own. It is more than just a summer program; the Balfour Scholars Program is a support system of individuals who genuinely want students to succeed in their pursuit of happiness.

1 comment:

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