Expectation vs. Reality by Efrata M. Thewodros

Oftentimes, our presumptions of things surpass reality. Remember that time you got really excited about a new episode from your favorite TV show, or maybe a new book from your favorite author? Then, you finally experience the phenomenon and find yourself facing unforeseen disappointment because somehow, the reality of the situation did not quite meet what you had constructed in your mind. My experience at YYAS was the exact opposite of that. I completed the program with more knowledge, experience, and insight than I thought I’d gain when I initially applied.

Going into YYAS, I was expecting to acquire knowledge, understand more about applying for higher education abroad, and of course, meet people. Which was why I was elated when I received an email stating my acceptance to the program. Then, in what felt like the blink of an eye, the entire world went on lockdown. Attending the program seemed like a farfetched dream, yet, despite all odds, it happened!

YYAS was, in one word,  an adventure. From day one I was part of discussions that gave me tremendous new insight about Africa. Learning about the history of my continent, and analyzing different suggestions to solve the problems we face today helped me familiarize myself with what education at a university would be like.  Essentially I obtained more knowledge about my continent, and the world at large, far more than I ever thought I would. I was also inspired by the stories and success of present-day African entrepreneurs and intellectuals who managed to achieve something meaningful in their communities.

At YYAS I got to interact with admissions officers and students of universities from around the world. The invaluable information I gained from them is now immensely helpful in my tertiary education application process. Moreover, through the YYAS program, I was able to make new friends. YYAS enabled me to work with people from different backgrounds and I was exposed to a myriad of cultures. Through this experience, I was able to discover and appreciate the beautiful diversity in my continent, while also bonding with my peers over our similarities.

My time at YYAS is truly one of the highlights of my life; it is something I will not be forgetting anytime soon. Therefore, I would like to say thank you to my peers for making this experience as pleasurable as it was. I would also like to thank the YYAS team for their dedication throughout the program, and for making YYAS 2020 so amazing despite all the sudden inconveniences. And lastly, to anyone considering applying to the YYAS program I say go ahead and do it right now; because, whatever your expectations are, the reality you’re bound to come across at YYAS will surely be extraordinary!

Written by Efrata M. Thewodros, YYAS 2020 Online