Past the horizon, I can see the expanse of opportunities,

Waiting, wishing for me to emerge,

Not as someone molded for society,

But as myself,

Ready to embrace change,

Ready to make a difference.

-Excerpt from “The Skyline”, by Rahul Agarwal

I wrote this piece of prose when I was at Launch this summer. I was inspired not only by the Skyline of Boston, but by the amazing individuals I was with. They really changed my perspective to one that ensures that I follow what I am passionate about. They have changed my outlook to show me life shouldn’t be about the money, but about caring about a cause or doing something you find important. They have shown me that the people you surround yourself with are really what make life so special and unique.

These people have made me want to shoot beyond the skyline by instilling confidence in me to follow my dreams. I learned to grab a hold of every opportunity and use it to its fullest. Without my peers, I would never have applied to an incubator at the Harvard I Lab; without them, I would never have had the motivation to spend my extra time trying to develop a company that could change the world. If these people can inspire me in such a momentous way, I know I can count on them for anything.

I was incredibly intimidated when I first got to Launch. By the end of the program, I could say with full confidence that I had earned the respect of all my peers and they had earned mine. I broke out of my shell to work harder than I ever have before to prove to myself that I belonged there, and it helped me grow as an individual more than I ever could have imagined. I learned about my drives, my strengths, what weaknesses I needed to work on, and what type of people I like to work with. I learned about overcoming adversity no matter what it took. I got a crash course in excel in three days that I still use today at school. All of this is just a small example of what a complete program Launch truly is.

I wouldn’t trade my time at Launch for anything else because I learned so much about interacting with people in a positive way, about putting myself out there and trying to network, and about how to go about starting a business.

The piece above, in my mind, represents everything Launch stands for: constantly working to learn, following your passion, and spending time with the people who matter. A lesson form Michael Schrage was that investors like to bet on the jockey, not the horse, and this program helped get me one step closer to becoming a better jockey.