Friday, September 22, 2006

A farewell to Steve Irwin

I would like to say goodbye to Steve Irwin, the Australian Crocodile Hunter. News of his death shocked all of us. Many times I enjoyed watching him on Animal Planet. Sometimes I have to watch with both eyes closed, because of his daredevil action like "hugging" crocodiles. We all love him. He's a truly Australian ambassador to the world.Steve Irwin, thank you for making the world a better place. Your contribution is your ticket to heaven. May you rest in peace.

My first year of college

My first year of college was very eye-opening. I had always been a very outgoing, social person in high school, but I had never been in a situation where I knew absolutely no one. Would I be able to make friends? I was also a very good student in high school, but some of my classes were not very challenging. Would I be able to keep up with college courses? My fresher year not only answered these questions, it taught me about myself more than any other experience in my life -- and I had a great time along the way. The first few days on campus were dedicated to “Welcome Week” for incoming fresher. Everyone was put into an orientation group with about 20 other students. The Colege planned various events encouraging fresher to meet each other and get accustomed to their new “home.” Some of the activities seemed corny at the time, but it was a good way to meet other freshers. After the first day, I started to realize that most of the other students didn’t know anyone either! That made me more confident talking to people. I no longer felt like the “new kid” because everyone was a new kid. The next day, a guy across the hall was humming a music with his door open. I stuck my head in and introduced myself. We had similar tastes in music and we hit it off right away. From that point on, I realized that college was going to be so much more than hard classes and exams. Two years later, that guy across the hall is my best friend.Another Welcome Week activity was an event for fresher to learn about the many different student organizations on campus. Seeing over 15 tables of clubs and organizations was a bit overwhelming at first, but I found things that sparked my interest. One of those things was “College Mentors for Kids!,” an organization aimed at helping at-risk elementary students. I was a mentor for the entire year, and I met a lot of great people doing it.

With all the new experiences I had fresher year, it would have been easy to neglect the reason I came to college: an education. With 3 months of duration of classes first semester, I focused on making the jump from the high school classroom to the college setting.

My parents and teachers always told me that there was a lot of reading in college. They were right. After my first week of classes, I considered working at a Call center for the rest of my life. But once I figured out how to manage my time without the help of my parents, I knew that I could handle my courses. I realized that no one was here to motivate me to work except myself.

My professors were incredibly understanding about the transition to college, but they still expected me to work hard. It surprised me how each professor was really accessible. They all offered tutoring year round, and encouraged everyone to come to their office if things were getting tough. This made the first year that much easier for me to adjust. The things I learned in the classroom were very useful, and that was only part of my education. What I realized fresher year is that college teaches you more than facts and formulas. You learn how to live on your own, interact with different types of people, balance work and play, and discover whatever motivates or excites you. There are so many opportunities. I realized that all the resources are here at college; it’s just a matter of utilizing them. I truly believe that these are the best three years of my life, and I intend to make the most of every moment