By Alan Domingo
I was an optimistic, outgoing, friendly teen, with a small view of what life was going to be like. I lived in a small bubble with a great group of friends who saw life more or less the same. Their influences defined me and made me the bubbly, extroverted, and approachable teen I was, and, of course with much warm and congenial direction learned from my parents. As a high school junior going into my senior year, my goals were slightly generic and what most high schoolers primarily strived for: to achieve the best grades and grade point average possible to attend a well-known, well-rounded university with hopes that it would enhance my knowledge of subjects I learned in high school and hopefully point me in the right direction toward a successful career. At this point, just being introduced into more worldly subjects and outlooks, I wasn’t sure. All I wanted was to be successful in the way most teenagers see success: having a lucrative job (not sure what that was yet), a great, supportive, core group of friends, and a family. As a teenager, I didn’t have a realistic outlook on life, however narrow and naive it was. Success was ultimately the end game.
I first discovered SuperCamp from my mom, an elementary social studies teacher, who constantly found up-and-coming methods and approaches to learning more efficient ways to expand understanding and education within schooling. I ended up going, ultimately, because my mom thought it would be an excellent way to experience life on a college campus, to meet new people from around the country, help me with my SAT and ACT scores, and help me find a more efficient and greater quality of learning and understanding material presented in a fast-paced, high school environment. I went because I had to, and if it were up to me at the time, I would have stayed home with my friends.
I had a pre-existing bias due to my parents and brother and sister-in-law being teachers because their main focus was on education and they wanted me to experience the full extent of the opportunities given to me. I don’t blame them. Who wouldn’t want their son/family member to have the greatest opportunities? In all honesty, I assumed it would be a large group of reluctant teens who were forced to attend, just like me, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
At first, I thought it was going to be a week of summer school, more learning on top of nine and a half months of cramming and constant educational instruction. But, after the first day, I found that there was more value and benefit to applying myself and making the best of the week with new acquaintances, not just in classes learning more material for education, but also other valuable applications in life.
It’s been a while since then, but I can pinpoint a certain activity that I remember the most. Our group was instructed to write down with a thick, robust permanent marker on a wooden board a square foot in size (and maybe an inch thick) some sort of mental block that inhibited us from succeeding in a certain aspect of our life that we wanted to improve. In order to mentally break through this barrier, we needed to physically break through this board. Although already vulnerable from sharing our single defining weakness as a teenager, most of us had no experience with breaking a board with our bare, untrained hands or even a smidge of martial arts knowledge. With small instruction, three practice heaves to focus energy into our inexperienced hands, and exponential support from our group and group leaders brimming with adrenaline-filled confidence, we all succeeded. Best experience at SuperCamp!
The largest transformation I saw in myself was the willingness and eagerness to learn and apply my new methods of learning. With help of mentally overcoming small roadblocks and the confidence I learned from SuperCamp, learning became more of an enjoyable experience than a necessity. The change happened unconsciously, but I was more conscious of it as each day progressed. My goals changed after SuperCamp. Instead of having to learn to succeed in life, I began to enjoy the experience of learning. Personality-wise, my confidence was enhanced. I kept the good nature and overall optimism of a young teen and my core values remained unchanged.
I still apply the skills I learned at SuperCamp when I can and when they are best suited, which unfortunately is not all the time, but I will use them when the opportunity arises. I don’t remember the specific skill titles, but there are a few specific effective skilled activities I still utilize: speed reading with my finger, using different colored pens to mark and identify significant passages in reading, overcoming mental blocks, and overall teamwork when applicable. I was able to attend University of California Irvine, a goal that was definitely achieved with the help of SuperCamp, but as far as my career, I haven’t done anything in the major that I studied in college. Boosting people’s attitude and confidence toward overcoming minor mind blocks is definitely a significant impact that I’ve been able to have on others, and it’s helped many friends who didn’t have the opportunity to experience the benefits of SuperCamp.
My advice to those who are considering SuperCamp? Go with an open mind and have fun.
For information about Quantum Learning’s SuperCamp go to www.supercamp.com