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The date was July 12 as my father and I stepped out into the open air of San Francisco, California. We made the trip to California because I was attending the Stanford University EPGY program. This EPGY program was for gifted students who were looking for further education in a specific topic and to also experience a piece of the college life. My dad went with me to bring me to Stanford and to meet up with some old friends. As we drove the rented Camaro down University Avenue, I saw all of the places that I would soon be spending time at. I saw all of the fountains that I would be “hopping” with my future friends and the Jaba Juice shop that I would be at almost every day. The places, people, and experiences made my trip to Stanford the best three weeks of my life.



My dad and I had just arrived in California. We were mkaing our way toward the car rental area. Here, we are waiting for the airport tram to pick us up and bring us to the rental car place. I am not exactly sure what I am doing in the background.


The first place I went to when I went to Stanford was Kairos. Kairos is the name of the fraternity house that we stayed in. In the summer, the actual students who live there let the EPGY program use the house to provide shelter for the EPGY students. Kairos housed the Classical Era class and 20th Century Philosophy class. This is where we hung out most of the time and did our homework. Kairos quickly became my favorite place in the world. The next place was FloMo. FloMo is the abbreviation they students gave to the dinning hall. We would eat breakfast here in the morning, lunch after class, and dinner after our activity. The food was surprisingly really good and many memories were made here. Then, there is Jaba Juice. Jaba Juice was one of the most famous places among the Stanford community. There, they sold jaba juices. Jaba juices are part smoothie and part juice. We, the Kairos house, went there almost every day. There are so many memories that were made at these places that made the trip amazing.


This is Kairos. Kairos is the name given to the dorm house that I stayed in while at Stanford. It is a regular dorm house during the school year, but the tenants allow the EPGY Summer Institute to use it to house students. This is the first day of the program. They hosted a small banquet to start off the program.

The people I met at the program also made the Stanford trip the best it could have been. The first person I met was Alistair Fortson. Alistair was my roommate for the duration of the program. He was a cool person who made the trip interesting. Although Alistair was a really cool person, the friends who I spent time with the most were Orlando, Taylor, Nikki, and Tiffany. Orlando was my friend from Canada. We both played basketball together almost everyday. He was very competitive and would always challenge me to a game. He would always lose. Taylor was the kid from Cincinnati. He was the one who would always be texting, and he was notorious for taking hour long showers. He once took a three hour shower while we were there. Nikki was from California, so she did not feel away from home. She was really cool and could usually be seen on facebook. Then, there was Tiffany. She, like me, loved music and loved to sing. Although we have gone our separate ways and live across the country from each other, we still have a lifelong friendship that will last forever.

This is a picture of Alistair, Me, Leah, Tiffany, and Laura. We were allowed to roam around campus in the afternoon after classes and study time. Most of us would get people together and walk around, go to jamba juice, or go fountain hopping.

The experiences are the last thing that made the trip great. On the second day of the program, we had a scavenger hunt throughout the whole campus. We had to create a mascot and take pictures with the objects specified on the list. Unfortunately, I was the mascot, and I had to wear a dress. Although the cross dressing is something I will never do again, the experience was amazing. One of the coolest activities to do on-campus was FoHoing. FoHoing is an abbreviated form of Fountain Hopping. In various places on campus, large water fountains can be seen. The first college students developed a tradition of putting on their bathing suits and swimming in the fountains. That tradition is still carried out today. I cannot count how many times we went FoHoing. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. On the weekends, the program staff would set up field trips to different places nearby. Our first field trip took us to Capatola beach. There, the sand was scolding hot, and the water was freezing cold. We spent the day playing football in the sand and developing a case of frostbite from the freezing cold water. On our second field trip, we visited the San Francisco zoo. There, we basically looked at animals and watched some more animals. Although the looking-at-the-animals part was boring, spending time with friends was the best part.

On our first real day of camp we had a scavenger hunt. Each team was given a list of things they had to find on campus. Also, every team had to make their own mascot. I, stupidly, volunteered. We decided on me wearing a dress as our mascot. It was quite the experience.
The Stanford trip was filled with everything needed to make a great vacation. There were places to go and make memories at, there were people to meet that would end up becoming your lifelong friends, and there were experiences that made the trip the best it could have been. Although the trip was only three weeks long, it feels like I spent a whole lifetime there. I developed a bond with the place that I lived in for just a number of weeks. I would give anything to be there again, and that may just happen. I may end up living there once again, as a college student.
In this picture I am packing up to leave the camp. This was my last full day to take in all that Stanford had to offer. So, I decided to pack up the day before I had to leave. I still miss Kairos and all of my friends I made there. It was definitly a trip that I wish did not have to end.
During my trip to California, my dad and I visited the San Francisco Bay harbor and pier. From here we caught a great view of Alcatraz Island. All of the tours were booked, so we could only see it from the mainland.
The Stanford campus had its own church. The church held services for all denominations. Everytime I would walk in the church, someone would be playing the organ. To be honest, it was a little creepy.
This is a picture of my Classical Era class. Classical Era was a course I took while I attended the Stanford EPGY Summer Institute. I spent the most time with this group of people throught the trip.
This is a picture of Alistair, me, and Leah posing like the totem pole behind us. We would usually go around campus during our free time to take pictures such as this one.

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