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When I am asked what CTY means to me, it means the world to me. It's where I met my favorite people in the world, it's where I met people who literally saved my life, in fact, it is the place that showed me I should stay. It is at CTY that I met people who shared my interests, and showed me that being a nerd is pretty damn cool.


Ah, yes. My first year at CTY. The year where I was a wide-eyed rookie CTYer. It was here when I fell in love with CTY and what it stands for. I fell in love with the fact that the average CTYer is about a thousand and a half times more interesting than the average person at my school. Thinking back I was pretty anti-social, I didn't have many friends. However, I ended learning American Pie (lyrics, callbacks, the whole shebang). I knew I was coming back even before the session ended.


I took one of the most unorthodox courses at CTY, Whales and Estuary systems. About half the session is spent onboard the Lady Maryland and we learned how to sail and we studied the ocean and whales. Sans shower. Class was cool and all but someone from the same floor as me the year prior, Rohan, happened to be in my class! I ended up meeting many cool people, especially, Isabel DeMarco and Carolina Pachetti. This session led to my first ever CTY reunion, albeit a rather small-scale one, when I got together with Isabel and Carolina over winter break.


"Sometimes, we take way too much for granted." -Sunny

Maybe one of the best sessions ever, and not just because I'm back at Easton. From 16.2 to 17.2, it felt like an eternity and I have no idea why. I took Anatomy and Physiology B and ended up turning the whole class against me because of how terrible my puns were. You can go out on a limb and say my anatomy puns were bad ;). About halfway through the session, a fun-loving TA and a friend of mine, Jeffery, passed away. It devastated the whole ANPY.B class. As Austin Szatrowski and I were the ones with the most CTY experiences, I felt like it was an obligation to take a leadership role (reading Teammates by David Ross really helped). I will never forget the long Skype video calls Sunny (check out Jenny From the Block on Memories:EST) and I had at 1-3AM. I will never forget my lab partner Austin Szatrowski probably wanting to dismember me with a scalpel for all my terrible (read: state of the art) jokes. He never said it but I bet you any amount of money that he thought about it (*frantically Googles if killing a CTYer is considered CTYI*).

I had a gut feeling that this session was going to be great after I saw Sebastian "Not John" Reardon, who was in my hall in 15.1 and Fernando Martinez who shared a floor with my hall in 16.2. When we first saw each other we literally enacted the meme with two Spidermen pointing at each other, not gonna lie.

Outside of class, I got to know many other amazing human beings, courtesy of Austin and Sunny, many of whom I would keep in touch with for a long while after camp, including but not limited to, Carly Berglas, Isabel Yang, Aubrey Grayson Young, Hannah Gallagher (Orioles suck), Ahir Verma, and Ella Junge.

I had an amazing hall (cult) led by an amazing RA (cult leader), Jim (We get it, you go to Yale). Austin Szatrowski, Robert Lee, Allan Potts, Justin Baumann, Fernando Martinez, Jonathan, Zared, Andy, Pony, thank you for being great hallmates.

I actually had a good time at the dances, it's kind of a big change from 15.1

Similar to last year, I had a couple get-togethers over winter break, with Nikki Belenkiy in New Jersey, with Sunny in Irvine, California.

This was the first year where I had major, and I mean MAJOR, PCTYD.

Easton is starting to become my second home.

Notable Quotes:

"Can't you see Austin is cockblocking you?" -Syd

"So what do you think about Sunny?" -Octavia

"One more pun and you're outta here." -Austin and Bill

"Only two sane guys" -Austin, in the bathroom after a dissection and ALL the other guys got yelled at for waving scalpels around

"The veteran, the friend" -Justin


There really isn't much to say, save for that this would be my last session at Easton. I took too much for granted, the people, the prevalence of traditions, the proximity to Wawa, the beautiful campus, and everything in between. As Easton closes down, I don't know what my CTY future holds. Here are the possibilities:

1. This is it for me.
Easton is the best site, it's now defunct. Enough said. However, I would ideally want a "final year" and to be a nevermore. I want to speak at Passionfruit as the nevermore and walk out the gates as a forevermore. I am also applying to TASS, a highly competitive writing summer program. If I'm accepted, I will not be able to come to CTY in the summer of '19. Quoth the raven, forevermore. All in all, not the most likely option.

2. Carlisle
A solid option in all regards. From the people I had talked to, including the Empress Herself, Carlisle has been described as a site that values traditions and consists of a tight-knit community. I've heard nothing but good things about this site and if I do decide to return, Carlisle would be a front-runner. It is a site that has a consistently good reputation.

3. Allentown
Not too likely, but the proximity to the great town of Easton is definitely a plus. The fact that it is a new site raises from red flags for me. New sites, generally speaking, are devoid of traditions, a big no-no for me. Never mind the classes, traditions are what makes CTY great. Don't get me wrong, I love the Lehigh Valley area, not to mention that Allentown itself is insanely close to the AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. 2019 is my last year, and I would personally go for a more well-established site. However, it should be intriguing to see how this site develops. I picture it should be a low-floor, high-ceiling site. The newer CTYers are less well-versed in traditions, putting it in jeopardy. However, many sites that replaced a site also have extensive prevalence of traditions, I'm optimistic for Allentown.

4. Baltimore
Honestly, 18.2 was a shitshow. There's no other way to spin it. Yes, I met some amazing people but the delinquency of the administration is appalling. It really soured my first year in Baltimore. Seeing their willingness for attacking students for speaking out was scary. Knowing that a friend of mine is a member of the Royalty next year, I could potentially return to back her up and support her endeavors for my last year. However, seeing how many of my friends were treated by the administration was devastating, I have my doubts about returning there.


As many of you may or may not know, I'm bi and CTY has played a significant role in telling me that it's okay to be who I am. My life was great at the time and I didn't want that to potentially derail that. I was petrified of change and I despised it. At first, I just convinced myself that I'm actually not and it's just a phase but affirming and declaring your identity to the world is intimidating, regardless of religion, race, sexuality, or culture. The world can be a mean place sometimes, and we often do whatever we can to keep the out-group out. I could not have asked for meeting more loving and supportive friends. It made everything less harrowing or impossible. It is them that convinced me that I do indeed deserve good things, even when I was putting myself down. They showed me the light at the end of the tunnel (no, not a train). And as so many people have shown me that no matter how much I put myself down, I deserve love.


18.2 was an *interesting* and eventful session, to say the least. I reunited with many CTYers from the year prior, including my hallmate Robert Lee, classmate and close friend Carly Berglas, and completely expectedly, Isa DeMarco. I knew Robbie and Carly were going to be there but seeing Isa there was a complete surprise. We had fallen out of touch and this shows how sometimes, life just figures itself out. It was really amazing seeing all of them again. Then there's you, Bradley (I love you:)). There was a surprising (or should I say, alarming?) amount of SAS Pudong folks (Puxi is better). I got to know some really cool people this session, especially the Astrophysics girl gang, Maddy Miller, Amber JoneLIT (not gonna let it die), Abby Geiger and Mel Brigham, also the Beuroscience folks, Amelia Orwant, Jordan Harrow, Ari Solomon, Ronoy Sarkar, Kris, and many more. The site administration, to put it kindly, was delinquent and incompetent at best. And that's putting it kindly. You may read for yourself what happened here. Knowing that something like that happens is horrible on its own, it gets worse when the victim is someone that I know and I'm close to. As the admins failed to respond appropriately, I saw the reason I came back to CTY after 15.1 from other CTYers, especially the aforementioned individuals. They stood up for what was just and what was the right thing to do courageously and protected [victim] and her friends. People who come to CTY are people who go to CTY, but those and only those who stand up for the things we believe in most and are dedicated to CTY is a CTYer. They were CTYers.


International Politics at Carlisle!

Not sure what to expect, but hopefully it's going to be great. Nothing's certain in life other than maybe life and taxes. Many of the best people I've ever met over the course of my four years and five sessions will be there as well so I'm looking forward to that!

May we all get to have a chance to ride the fast one
Walk away wiser when we crashed one
Keep hoping that the best one is the last one
-May We All by Florida Georgia Line