The sunny California weather, the palm trees lining the entrance, the bikes whizzing by with cheerful students greeting one another. The moment I stepped onto Stanford’s campus, I knew it was the place I wanted to be. I could feel in my bones that this university would afford me the best opportunity for pursuing my goals for the future. I’m incredibly lucky to say that despite Stanford having the lowest acceptance rate of any university in the country during the year I applied, I am now a pre-medical student at this amazing institution. One camp experience that truly helped me to achieve this goal was learning how to be “Better Everyday”. My personal BE goal during level two was to be confident. This certainly did not come easily for me, but the struggle was well worth it. My newfound confidence helped me to show Stanford the person that I had discovered in myself: someone who deserved to be there. A second experience that made a particular difference in my acceptance was an activity in level three where I was forced to decide on three things that I valued above everything else. This really has had a profound impact on the way that I look at life, how I interact with others, and what I seek to accomplish. When asked in an essay prompt in my Stanford application, “What matter to you and why?” I wrote about the values that I chose at camp: love, compassion, and dedication. As I explained in this essay, I really think that this particular camp experience helped me to grow in understanding not only myself, but also how I relate to the world around me. I even received a letter from a member of the admissions committee telling me that my response revealed a well-developed “emotional intelligence.” However, getting into Stanford was only the beginning. It’s still up to me to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that being here allows. I now dream of going to medical school and becoming a doctor. I dream of doing research that will lead to groundbreaking new discoveries. I dream of traveling to third world countries to help provide health care to those in desperate need of it.
But, equipped with what camp has given me, I can confidently say that these are not just dreams, they are achievable goals, and someday, I will make these dreams into a reality.