Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – Individualized Admissions Program: Part Four

After several weeks, we were suddenly nearing the end of the program. We had to write a term paper for English and complete a final exam for math class. I had to get an “A” on the math final in order to pass the class. That last week, it seemed like I just did algebra forever. I worked with the tutors and with some of the other students who were taking a higher level math class. We just worked all day and most of the night before the final exam. I also had to write a twenty page paper for English class. It seemed like it was never going to end. But finally, we took our exams and turned in our papers.

On Thursday evening, there was a special dinner for us, which was hosted by Dean Wilds and some of the other university administrators, including the president and Dean of students. As we ate, these individuals spoke to us and told us how proud they were. Dean Wilds spoke and as she neared the end of her speech, she invited some of our professors to speak and give out awards. Someone got an award for outstanding writing, someone got an award for outstanding math, and finally, Dean Wilds gave a long speech about one student who was voted “IAP student of the year.” She talked about how this student was a role model to everyone, how they worked hard all through the program, and how they always had a positive attitude and were inspirational to everyone. Then she announced that I was the “IAP student of the year.” So, I received the award and as I walked up to receive the award, my peers gave me a standing ovation and people were cheering and crying. It was truly an amazing moment and something I never expected.

After the banquet ended, Dean Wilds came back to the dorm with us and we all sat and reflected on our time together. People laughed and cried together and friendships were made that have lasted since those days. People expressed their gratitude to each other and pledged their loyalty, too. Dean Wilds spoke at great length about her experiences in life and about how we would still be able to come to her for support during the upcoming fall semester. She told us to remain strong and to hold onto our dreams.

When I was packing to come home, I was happy the work was over, but sad to be leaving my friends. I was relieved to be finished and more confident of my return for the regular semester in the fall. I think that the IAP program taught me a great many lessons that I took with me to the fall semester. It is important to remember that when I did this program and when I attended college, the technology simply didn’t exist as it does today, and things were much more difficult. The ADA laws were not out and people’s rights were different at that time. I have spent a lot of time wondering how things would be different for me today if I were just beginning my college career. However, I will say that I enjoyed it a great deal and if I had to do it over again, I would, as I have no regrets about the experiences and my educational journey.

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