My Wharton Experience
It’s unbelievable how this single word holds so much power in the eyes of prospective college students. I went there for summer school this year, and no, it wasn't terrible, quite the contrary. I completely loved it. The campus is lovely, and their architecture had me mesmerised, and their people, oh, they were so lovely; each one I met there left me with some impression, each one was so passionate and dedicated, it inspired me. But what was the best thing about Wharton, was that even though I was there for only two weeks, I found my future.
Before I embarked for the trip, I was completely confused as to what I will do in my future With 11th-grade starting, I felt the pressure more than ever, because I had to choose my subjects concerning my career path. Business was a prospective path for me, so I decided a straightforward thing: If Wharton, which is one of the best business schools in the world, could not convince me that Business is my future path, then no other school can.
The day I left I found myself surrounded by my terrified parents, grandparents and relatives questioning me if I could survive a trip to another country on my own, and a country which is too far for them to travel in case of an emergency. That sense of fear and uncertainty, I didn't feel that at all. I realised when I was quite young that I am a free spirit. I may live a very protected life; I may not have many opportunities to be independent, but even in my little bubble, I don't rely on others for what I need; in that way I am independent. Somehow, I made three new friends within the first 1 hour of my journey, survived a 22-hour flight with a sprained leg and successfully made it in my bed without killing anyone.
When I finally met my roommate, Rayann, it opened up a new world for me. Throughout my life, my mother has criticised me for being messy, but my roommate didn't care. I didn't know how to make my bed, do my laundry, hell I didn't even know now which way to turn the shower knob for warm water. She helped me out with a kind smile. A true American at heart, she introduced me to the world of Chipotle (which I dined at for the rest of the trip)CVS, Wawa- so many new places and I had just discovered them. I learnt to love the American way- to make things as easy to live as it can get.
I, as, a person am not so open and welcoming, yet on this trip, I tried, and I am proud to say I now have great memories to cherish. We went for field trips like to the mall and to Six Flags, but they really wouldn't be so unique if it weren't for people to share it with. Not only did I meet people from all over the world but I also met people from all over India. It’s hard to see others’ perspectives when you are trapped within a bubble of Delhi’s superiority; it helped to see and to hear about people from China, South Korea, LA, Florida etc. They helped me escape the idea that my world was limited to what I can see and inspired a sense of wanderlust within me to explore new places.
But Wharton was not all play and no work.We got to interact with Wharton professors, learn in Wharton classrooms, and live a Wharton life. From an academic standpoint, the course was interesting. I learnt about “Unlocking Innovation” and “Understanding Money”. These classes held my attention for I could relate and I wanted to implement these in my daily life, but when they began to turn into numbers and facts, my mind could not take it. I'm not a numbers girl, nor do I want to be; I pride myself on my creative mind. There, in the middle of accounting and finance, in the middle to tension and competitiveness, I realised that I was not cut out for this path. I may be good at Economics, but that does not mean that I have the dedication and determination needed to excel at business school. Wharton may not have changed my mind, but I did change my life, and for that, I will be forever grateful.
The experience Wharton summer school has provided me will stay forever and I take away one key learning: I decide my future and what matters is how I’ll fit. That is what matters even in life. Not the names, nor the brands or the titles but how they will help me grow as a person and as an intellectual.