Written by Anand Kothari and Oscar Mier, 2 to 4 Veteran Accelerator students, Summer 2016
The first week of Stanford’s 2 to 4 Veteran Accelerator program has been a phenomenal experience to say the very least. Every aspect in Stanford’s environment is filled with motivating factors that intellectually challenge and drive the community towards a hopeful future. To be submitted into Stanford for the summer has been sublimely surreal and dream capturing. Additionally, I was instantly encapsulated by my fellow veteran peer members’ motivation towards their personal legends, social cohesiveness, and calibers of operation. Also, during my first week here I have observed the local community within Stanford, and I have noticed a significant difference in cultures compared to my previously enrolled community college. When I was a student in a community college, I felt as though I was surrounded by intellectual boundaries, but here, there are no boundaries. I’ve been liberated, and now I can innovatively chase my dreams.
Although Stanford University can be intimidating at first, this program has given me the courage to push forward and operate in this level of academic pursuit. While reading through the syllabus for our required PWR course, I became nervous and ran across concepts that were outside my comfort zone. To make matters worse I noticed that there’s an essay due at the end of every week; however, even though I’m only one week into the program, I have learned an enormous amount of new writing strategies, developed efficient time management skills, explored new social networks, and built my academic confidence.
Furthermore, the reception for the 2-4 veterans was an incredible networking opportunity. Each administrative staff member warmheartedly welcomed us, and perfectly represented Stanford’s core values. I found it grand to interact with each academic titan there. The most engaging part of their stories were the hardships each one had to overcome in order to achieve their personal legends. For instance, Russ Toll, a PHD student whose research is directly benefiting those with PTSD, showed us that veterans are capable of great pursuits outside the military. His success at Stanford was truly awe inspiring.
In conclusion, my first week at Stanford has been extremely transformative. The large amount of resources available to us is remarkable. I’m excited to curiously explore, intrinsically grow, and share during my summer here at Stanford.