Yuancong (Soso) Xie ‘15
Beijing 101 High School, Beijing, China
It was in early April when I received the email that I was admitted to the PLE session of Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS), the official summer school of Yale University. How ecstatic I was when I heard the news! My YYGS session would take place in late June. It would consist of a series of speeches, sessions, seminars, work projects and library tours in the topic of “Politics, Law and Economics (PLE)”, tightly packed into a vigorous two-week schedule. Needless to say, I quickly set foot to read the piles of required materials, including essays, news reports, research papers, etc., to get myself acquainted to the exciting Yale experience that I was about to have.
To be frank, although I already had very high expectations for my experience in YYGS, the reality was even better than I have imagined that it would not be an exaggeration to say that it has changed my life. All the 200 PLE participants were located in the Jonathan Edwards College in Yale. At first sight, our residential college was just like any other high school (or university) campus, filled with laughter and vitality. But the people, whom I have had the opportunity and honor to be with, were in no means ordinary. They are probably the most outstanding teenagers of the planet, coming from around the globe to meet together. My roommate rules in athletics, yet he is an AP scholar and never fails to get the highest grades in any subject. My partner in our discussion group had published two books on scientific research. When I was listening to a speech one day, I witnessed a friend open up his laptop, log on to College Board, and saw his SAT score report of 2400. And frequently during the discussion sessions and seminars, my peers came up with meaningful insights that were genuinely superb, and we would engage in active conversations that would never cease to inspire me.
During the session, there were times when I wondered how I could be qualified to enter the program with such great people. But I had never been so proud, being able to get to know them, share stories with them, and become a part of them. Most importantly, I found that those brilliant minds weren’t as far from me as I thought. At YYGS, we took the same classes, went to the same seminars, enjoyed the same hobbies, watched the same movies, and laughed at the same jokes. Yet I also noticed the diligence they had toward work, the meaningful things and activities they did in spare time, and most importantly, the dreams they had. Each and every one of them had a dream, and the passion they had toward their dreams was previously unimaginable to me. I had realized this difference between me and them, which in turn made me more determined than ever to have a goal in life. And that goal is my dream. I would find a dream, do something meaningful, and devote myself in what I do. I held it deep in my heart that if I hold on to my dreams, think as much and work as hard as them, I can also fulfill my dream and achieve great things.
How I wish time could pass by slower! The life-changing two weeks was over, but its lasting impact on me did not. So I returned from YYGS, bidding goodbye-but-not-farewell to all those people whom I have got to know, a completely new figure to face the challenges in the future. Most importantly, it has taught me to seek out and find my dream. To this day I have only had a blurry notion of what my dream would be, much less developed compared to those of my counterparts in YYGS. Yet I was not taken aback. We may be inspired by anything, momentous or minuscule. But if we have the will to make a difference in the world, we will find a dream one day, and this day will not be so far away. And our dreams will be our fuel that drives us further down the road that we will pursue.