Saturday, July 18, 2009

From Beginning To End

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect before I came to Columbia. I kind of worried that I was not going to like living at Columbia, I didn't know if I was going to have a roommate or if my possible roommate would become a friend or foe, I worried about my time management, I worried about waking up on time and not being late for class, and I was incredibly worried about being able to keep up in class. No matter how much you hear from a person or learn from a website or etc., you can never be fully prepared. Even though you may get advice from a primary source, it's still difficult to predict anything because you have never actually been there yourself. Or, at least, that is how I feel. So although I was excited for Columbia, and although I had no qualms about generally having to be responsible because I'm living away from my parents, I was still very worried about a lot of things.

When I came to Columbia, I discovered I had a single room, which alleviated some worry. I wouldn't have to be super conscious in my own room, because it wouldn't actually be my own room. Then I got to meet most of my suitemates, and we all got along pretty well. Now, I realize I was incredibly lucky to live with this group of people. There are other suites in which the girls are not as friendly or kind to one another as we are. Class started, and I became intimidated by all the terms and concepts I had never heard. But as time went on, I became more comfortable in class. I spoke out more, and I began to have an easier time grasping the concepts -- to a certain extent (I could never fully grasp it with my basic background in chemistry). I faltered a few times on waking up on time, but I was never late! I admit I also had some time management obstacles. When your two weekends are taken up already, you want to spend time with your friends and do all the stuff after class that you'd normally do on weekends. But I also knew that if I indulged myself, I would get nothing done and I would mess up my time here. So although I was enticed by all the invitations to places or events I wanted to go to, I refrained because I didn't want to burn myself out.

In these three weeks, I picked up a daily routine. But even though I generally did the same things every day, there were also new or random aspects to each day. Some days I spontaneously went places, or I relaxed outside, or I did this or I did that. I'm going to miss seeing my friends every day, and hanging out with them whenever and wherever. I'm going to miss walking into the Havemeyer building and down the stairs, feeling like it was my class building. I'm going to miss conducting lab experiments, getting to know my fellow classmates as well as my wonderful mentors. I'm going to miss pulling my lanyard out of my bag and unlocking my suite door in that special way which makes the small process easier. I'm going to miss greeting people in my suite when I come in, and unlocking my door, and walking into a cooled room from the hot day. Essentially, I'm going to miss feeling so at home and comfortable here. I'm going to miss being able to say "I'm going back home now," referring to Suite 6A in Hartley.

I feel like I'm coming away from this experience as a changed girl. No, a changed young adult. I now generally know what it is like to go to college. After senior year, living in dorms won't be such a shock for me, therefore I will have an easier transition and adjustment, and thus an easier time focusing on my academics. I now generally know what I should do in class as a better method of improving my performance, and when I get to college it won't take me weeks to utilize my drive and get enough courage to do it. But most importantly, I have gained insight into what I want from a college. I think that is the best gift that this program has given me. Before, I was so incredibly lost when it came to choosing colleges. I ran on general information, prestige, and parent's choices, but now I have become more solid and thoughtful in my consideration of colleges. Even though I still have questions and am still indecisive about particular aspects, I have a better handle on what I want when I get out of high school.

Thank you, sponsors. Without you, none of us would have had such a wonderful experience. I promise that when I come back, I will make the most of my experience by trying to carry on the things I have learned to the students in our district. Thank, Mr. Ramsey and Ms. Kronenberg, for creating this program in the first place. I know of no other program like this, making it unique and a very valuable asset to the students in our district. One summer at a time, you are helping kids and changing lives -- which I think, is a fabulous affair.

1 comment:

Madeline Kronenberg said...


Thank you for all your insightful and detailed posts -- including this last one.

I'm particularly happy that you realize that you can be more "thoughtful" in your college choices and I'm glad you have a better handle on the whole adventure.

Keep us in the loop as your make your decisions and Welcome Home.

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