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  • Writer's pictureElisha Bae

Stanford Summer Session: Week 8 (final)

This is it.

Last day of, well, pretty much the best summer of my life.

▲ All my final memories wrapped in one

I had so much fun at the HSSC Dance — I’m not really a party person but going there with my friends and taking hundreds of photos was definitely worth the wait. It was what I envisioned prom to be like at my school (though I do hope there will be better refreshments than just soda and fruits).

In our last hall meeting, the RAs gave out plates with superlatives on them. Mine was ‘most likely to have her iPad doodles in a museum’. Yeah, they really liked some of the drawings I did during movie marathons.

As I was clearing out my side of the room, I took photos of little objects that had sentimental value. One is a rubber duck that my Study Smart instructors gave me as a stress reliever but also a way to practice my final presentation (as if the little duck is my audience). I’d gotten attached to it quite strongly after having presented my final project to it more than five times.

Next is a pot of succulents that I got way back in the first week (probably the first day) of camp. I had my eyes on that particular one because of its fresh green colour and fuzzy leaves. Taking care of this little plant reminded me that people also need time to nourish themselves and get some sunshine.

Then there’s my ukulele. My precious ukulele that helped me build a bridge with so many different people at camp. From singing duets to performing in front of an audience, it’s been through a lot with me. I’m actually going to gift it to one of my RAs who has been so kind and supportive of everything I did, especially when I was unsure of things as it was my first time living by myself.

It’s only been 8 weeks but I feel like I’m a completely new person. Being in this environment where everyone is encouraged to be who they truly are made me more confident in my own skin. Back in school, there are people who know me from a very young age and they hold a particular version of myself true to their eyes (back when I was shy and timid), so I end up putting on a mask and acting like I’m not a different person to who I was when I was young.

I thought it was easier that way. But when I go back, I don’t intend to do that anymore. I’m going to be who I think I am and if that surprises a few people, let them be surprised. That’s the only way I’m going to be comfortable with my friends. Who knows? I might encourage some other people to be more like their true selves 😊

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