Advanced Summer College Institute @ Marymount

For the 50 Scholars completing their Advanced Summer College Institute at Marymount College, the outlook for college success is bright. This summer, they are not only planning for college, they're preparing for college by living as college students.

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Scholars are taking an accelerated college course, Literature and Psychology, and creating a college application portfolio that includes: a draft of their personal statement, letters to teachers requesting a recommendation, and a resume.

This week, Scholars are working on their final projects. They have to write a 3-5-page paper – describe the key events that shaped who you are today and where you want to go in life – and prepare oral presentations they will give in front of their class distilling their papers down to three minutes.

Four Scholars – Hanna Yocute, Alejandra Aparichio, Brian Padilla, and George Murillo – took time out from rehearsing their oral presentations to sit down and share some thoughts on the Institute experience.

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When asked what has surprised them the most about the residency program, all echoed the same sentiment – the independence.

“Between completing all the reading and writing for class and socializing at night with other students, you have to figure out time management because we really are in charge of ourselves here," said Brian.

Added Alejandra, “In our suite (six students live together in three-bedroom dorm suites) on the first night, we decided to split up roommate duties like a family. We just came up with the idea and it’s made living together easier.”

Living on campus has exposed Scholars to more than co-habitation with peers. They’ve met high school students from Russia, Spain, and Italy also doing summer programs at Marymount living in the dorms.

George brought a laptop and projector from home and screened a DVD of “Up” outside in the dorm quad on the first night of the Institute.

“Everybody loves that movie. We made a lot of friends that night!”

The Scholars have been struck by the differences between their course professors and high school teachers.

“The professors treat us like adults. They don’t remind us about our assignments, they just expect we’re doing it all," said Alejandra.

When asked what she’ll take most from the experience, Hanna said, “Confidence. Before I got here, I was kinda afraid I wasn’t ready… that I couldn’t handle this. But I did keep up with the class, and I did make friends. And tomorrow, I’m going to give a speech about my life to the whole class [laughs]. So, yeah, I can handle going away to college.”

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