10 Things I Took Away From My First IC

February 20, 2024
Shayna Horwitz

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Class of 2025

Read more from this author →

  1. A greater appreciation for my summer program: This past summer, I went on a BBYO Passport trip, and the friends that I made there provided a much-needed friendly face as I was walking around the hotel. In addition, getting to catch up with everyone was absolutely a highlight of the convention. I feel passionate that my trip friends made the experience as a whole so much better. 
  2. International friends and connections: At IC, I was constantly surrounded by Jews from all over the world. I was able to get to know people from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures and grow closer to them through our shared love for BBYO. I’m so grateful to be leaving IC with tons of new friends, and I can’t wait to visit them soon.
  3. Experience getting out of my comfort zone: In order to make new friends, I was forced to go up to strangers and engage in conversation with them. While this made me pretty uncomfortable, it was absolutely worth it for the connections I made. 
  4. A deeper passion for BBYO: From opening ceremonies to regional cheers to separates, IC was filled with BBYO traditions. Getting to experience them all firsthand deepened my love for BBYO and the amazing community it was able to create.
  5. Life skills and valuable knowledge from professionals: At IC, we heard from a multitude of speakers, each of whom provided helpful life advice. Their speeches broadened my knowledge of global issues, careers, and success; I look forward to applying this knowledge to my own life.
  6. More ease in being independent: On LEADS day, I chose to participate in an ultimate frisbee tournament with only one other friend. This worried me a bit, but we ended up having the best time ever. I got the chance to make so many friends that I never would’ve met otherwise, all while doing an activity that I love. It was absolutely a highlight of the trip, all because I chose to go off on my own.
  7. Experience in a possible future career: I want to major in journalism in college, and thanks to IC Press Corps, I got a taste of what that would be like. At IC, I got the opportunity to interview Noa Tishby. This not only built my journalistic skills, but was deeply inspiring and is a memory that I’ll forever cherish.
  8. More pride in my Jewish identity: I was surrounded by thousands of Jews the entire weekend, which was an experience like no other. During IC, Judaism acted as a conversation starter, a discussion topic, and, most importantly, a commonality. I’ve always been grateful for my Jewish community, but IC significantly deepened that feeling. 
  9. The ability to prioritize my mental health: With all the chaos and excitement that is IC, I learned that it’s incredibly important to take breaks. When I got stressed or overwhelmed, I would go off on my own and take a few moments to breathe and reflect. This was crucial for me as I went through IC for the first time.

An open mind: IC was filled with tons of new activities, people, and experiences. It was necessary that I kept a positive outlook on everything and tried it all out. I feel passionate that this made my IC experience so much better, and I commit to keeping this mindset, even now that I’m back.

Shayna Horwitz is a BBG from Chabibi BBG #325: Northstar Council who loves spending time with friends and family!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

Explore More Stories

Get The Shofar blasted to your inbox