Coming into CSP this summer as my first year in the program, I could feel the different emotions coursing through me. I was excited to spend my summer on the University of Chicago’s amazing campus, as well as nervous to meet the other scholars and find out if the rigorous application process was really worth my summer. I was also really proud of the accomplishment I made getting into this prestigious program.
At first navigating the campus was a challenge, it’s not your usual high school building going up and down the stairs to get to your next class. CSP gives you an early college experience by treating you like a real college student, with each class located in a different building scattered around the campus. I learned the importance of independence and taking full responsibility for getting to each class and doing assignments on time with no excuses - I was a college student.
The scholars I met are great friends and that bond strengthened over the six weeks of the program. Finding our classes together around campus, having lunch in the library’s café, helping solve difficult problems in math class, and even our educated debates in Professor BG’s [Professor Balan-Gaubert] Critical Thinking class cemented my connection with my peers. I was being challenged to think in ways I never could in school surrounded by people who wanted the same.
After the Culminating Event (a final event that show cases what scholars have done all summer) I came to realize that this program wasn’t taking my summer away but instead giving me a summer to remember. It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had. My experience this summer was worth it; not only did I have fun but I learned so much about myself and what I would love to see in a college that’s just right for me.