Monday, January 21, 2013

From ILC Alum Taylor Doty

Current and Future Ivy Leaguers,

Checking in from Durham, North Carolina here at the number one ranked basketball school in the nation. First off let me apologize for my very tardy response. I know that I hate hearing excuses but for those of you who are sympathetic I hope you will understand when I say that over break I was enjoying being home for the first time in four months as well as sleeping for more than six hours for the first time in four months. Secondly I hope you can understand that coming back to school for second semester has been wild and crazy and also did not lend itself to a response. But my excuse aside here is what my experience at Duke has been like and how the ILC helped me out.

First off, college is way different than high school. Your mom and dad are not around to tell you when it is time to go to bed, nor are they there to tell you that you can't go out on a school night. (Also they are not there to do your laundry which thankfully I learned how to do while being and ILCer.) In college it is your responsibility to manage your time and get everything done. Managing homework, soccer, and friends has been a challenge for me. However, I learned during my time with the ILC at Cornell University that if I get things done earlier I will have more free time to do the things I want to do. I have tried my best to use that strategy here at Duke, but real college is more stressful and demand a little more from you that summer college. My advice here would be to practice managing your time efficiently with the once course you take over the summer but keep in mind somewhere that in college you will have the work load of that one course times four. 

College is also not the same as high school. The quality of work that is expected from you is higher and everyone you go to school with is just as smart if not smarter than you. I felt a little insecure at first because a lot of students came from private high school and had taken courses that weren't offered at El Cerrito High. Many of them talk of how challenging their schools had been and how many AP's they had passed. Let me be the first to say to you that no matter how many AP's you took nor the course offering at your high school compared to another you were accepted for a reason and thus deserve to be at that school. I struggled a lot with feeling like I fit in academically first semester but now starting my second semester I am more confident in myself academically. So my advice to you all is to remember that you were accepted into whatever school you end up in for a reason because they thought you were smart and capable enough and ultimately you deserve to be at that school. 

Aside from the amount of work and having to manage time some of you will be traveling far away from home like myself. Being in a new place with a zillion new people can be over whelming and scary. It also lends itself to cold spreading. I was sick for the majority of my first semester at Duke. Not having my mom to take care of me was rough but definitely helped me grow up. So word from the wise you will most likely get sick during your first year in college so start talking to your parents now as to how to get and what to take to make you better. 

All in all Duke as been an amazing experience for me. I have grown so much as an individual. I would not have felt as prepared without my pervious experience at Cornell through the ILC. The ILC previewed college for me and allowed me to prepared for some of the things college throws at you like time management and laundry. 

Sorry for my late response,
Taylor Doty
Duke University '16

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