Michelle’s Story

“How was LIYSF?”

I never knew how difficult it was to answer a 3-word question until a friend from home texted and asked me this. No, it wasn’t because I did not have the answer to that, it was simply because my fingers were way too slow to catch up with my thoughts and emotions.

My journey began about a year ago when I heard that a few of my seniors were going to miss several weeks of school to fly to London and attend a science forum. I could clearly remember how LIYSF was all they talked about once they returned to school. Honestly, I didn’t understand why they were so terribly sad over a science forum, hence, I threw tons of questions at them. To my surprise, I became very much intrigued by the program. I then decided to try my luck and apply for an interview at our school. A week later, I got an email which thankfully started with ‘Congratulations!’. 

As soon as I had received that email, all my fears and anxieties kicked in. At that moment, it just hit me that we (as a group of 3) were going to start our very first research and share it with hundreds of incredible people in a city 7,276 miles away from home. However, all my worries were immediately replaced with an unhealthy amount of excitement as I stood in front of Ambassador House, the home away from home for the 2 weeks I spent in London.

LIYSF definitely opened my eyes to a brand-new horizon. Never have I imagined talking about our research in front of 500 people from 70 different countries during the FameLab session or seeing an actual human brain with my bare eyes! Moreover, all the people I met there were amazing beyond words. I have never felt so welcomed by so many people in my entire life. I am forever grateful to have made the nicest, most thoughtful friends from various parts of the world. Lastly, the lectures and visits both in and out of London were really inspirational. I was moved by how science can change the world in ways I had never thought of. 

At the 60th LIYSF, no two days were the same (especially weather-wise). It would be impossible to forget the time my friends and I got lost around Piccadilly Circus (I’m obviously not the best navigator, sorry for the ones who tagged along with me!) or the loud fire alarm buzzing at 4 A.M. during our final night. I miss all the 14 days so much already! 

With all that being said, I think it’s safe to say that LIYSF was the most incredible two weeks of my life. I feel extremely lucky to have been part of the family. Terima kasih banyak, LIYSF!

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