By: Mahpara Qadri from Karachi, Pakistan
I clearly remember my first day at YYGS Beijing. Jet lagged, sleepless and entirely homesick, I entered the Beijing International airport. I had a trolley overflowing with all my luggage, and a heart full of nerves. The sun was setting, and the weather was taking a colder turn. Not being used to the chill, I wrapped myself as well as I could with my long coat and kept moving along with my trolley until I saw a sign that read ‘Yale Young Global Scholars’ . It finally registered for me that for the upcoming week I would have to get used to everything around me. This was my moment to confirm to myself that: ‘Oh Lord, YALE!!’
I was then accompanied by a sweet Chinese girl, Helen, who was also my workshop leader for the week. My fellow young scholars and I sat at a coffee shop until our van arrived. Fighting the cold wind, we left the airport to reach the hotel (where all of us were given rooms and roommates).
I was unfortunately unable to take part in the optional field trip held prior to the program and so a lot of the other participants weren’t familiar with me. The next day when the program finally started, I was introduced to a hundred brilliant people, who soon became like family to me.
The amount of honor and pride I returned with to my city of Karachi was immense. With the YYGS tag hanging around my neck, everybody looked up to me. I couldn’t believe that what started with mixed feelings had come to an end with only one thing in heart: I’ll miss these people.
YYGS has given me so much to remember, it has helped me to explore myself and get to know facts about my personality which I was scarcely aware of. Through the four seminars I also learned so many things that made a profound academic impact as well.
When I look back on one of the most amazing winters of my life, I don’t feel even a pinch of regret. Here’s to the best time of my life!