Successful college students take the initiative to seek out resources they need including faculty, peers, staff, support centers, the library, and student clubs among others. How has your participation in the Community Service Project encouraged you to draw upon the expertise of faculty and staff? Which support centers have you utilized? Have you joined a student club? Describe how using these resources for your team project has given you an edge in your other courses and your future success at Baruch. How has your understanding of community service evolved as a result of your participation in the Project?
At first this Community Service Project seems like a tedious chore. It didn’t seem like something worth my time. But as the term goes on, I realize that this project has its worth. Aside from the fact that it gives me a chance to give back to the community, it also taught me to reach out of my comfort zone to seek help when needed. A community is a closely linked system; members within the community have two identities. They are both givers and receivers. That is how a community function. As a member, I received scholarship hence; it’s my responsibility to give back. Also, when I have a problem, my community will also have resources that can answer my questions. That is the most important lesson I have learned throughout this project. I have learned to seek help from librarians, peers or simply ask questions to people who are directly in charge. I saw that there is no humiliation in seeking for help. In fact, it helped me get through the project. By asking for other’s opinion and help I was able to put together the project with my group members.
Aside from this project, the skills I learned also aid me as a student in Baruch. I learned that I am part of the Baruch community. I realize that there are a lot of resources out there that will aid me in my studies and future careers. Places like: the library, Starr Career Center, Writing Center, etc. are amazing places that offer great help. There I can get information of anything I want. And with these resources, I will be able to develop an individual view of the world. All these resources can help me with my classes as well. Because I am able to do such in depth research, I will be able to elaborate more on my findings. Aside from simply placing reciting facts, I will be able to use these facts and develop my own stance. Also, I believe that research shouldn’t be superficial. For an example, in my BUS recitation class, I learned to examine my resources and look at the validity. I learned not to simply accept facts but to look at whether or not the fact presented to me subjectively.
Lastly, in combination of the freshmen seminar classes and I realized that I have a responsibility to give back to my community. And by giving back, it’s not simply “doing something.” Although I have participated in various community service programs before, I felt like I was simply doing a deed. I never went out to investigate how my deed will aid the community. It’s obvious that participating in CPC (Chinese American Planning Council) and BCA (Brooklyn Chinese Association) would help the people. How? Before attending Freshmen Seminar and participating in this Community Service Project, I would have never question the validity of my service. By having to research about the organization, I learned that volunteer work isn’t simply “punching in the hours.” It requires a lot more knowledge and research. I have to find out whether not my work is really helping the community. Hence, volunteer work is not simply about the quantity but of the quality of work.
What is your role in the Baruch and broader community as a Baruch Scholar in the Honors Program and what do you think it should be? How is this related to the culture of service the Honors Program promotes?
When I first found out that I got accepted into Baruch’s Honors Program, I was thrilled. I heard a lot about this thriving community and all the opportunities that it offers to its Scholars. Hence, as I start this journey into the next four years of my life in college, I feel that I am obligated to thrive both academically and personally. I believe that there will be a lot of opportunities given to me to enhance my knowledge. All these honor courses provided by the school would allow me to learn different material in a smaller environment. A smaller class would allow me to interact with students and professors on a deeper level. With a deeper understanding of everyone around me, I can create different types of relationships, which will allow me to expand my social network. I believe these strong relationships will be very advantageous in terms of my future. By building strong connections with others, I am creating opportunities and doors for myself. I believe that this is what Baruch wants to offer to the members of its community.
Also, aside from expanding my social network and thriving academically, I believe that I am also obligate to give something back to the community. Aside from creating a successful career for myself in Baruch, I believe I should do something for the promising community around me. As a Scholar, I should be able to apply all the skills I learned from my honors and core classes to leading community programs. These programs should involve improving the environment around us for the future generations. These programs should include activities, aimed toward the betterment of our future generations. As we all know, there are a lot of issues taking place in society. These issues range from an international scale to a local scale. Although, I am only a single person, I believe I will be able to make a difference if I use the social network that I am establishing in Baruch to my advantage. In these four years, I hope to meet many people, make many friends and make a difference.
Four years ago, I was a freshman in Brooklyn Technical high school. I remember going home and crying on the phone with my best friend the first few weeks of school because I missed her so much. I remember telling her that I wish it was junior high school again where we didn’t have to worry about anything. I told her that I hated all the work and stress in high school. I hated the unfriendly environment. It felt like it was impossible to find new friendships that are comparable to the one I had with her. Up to this day, I still believe that there is no other friendship that can replace the one I have with my best friend. Yet, I didn’t run home to call and cry to her after my first few weeks of classes at Baruch. I realize that although Baruch is very different from my junior high and high school, it still provides a lot of opportunities.
From the first day, I can tell that Baruch can offer a lot to me. All the worries I had for high school didn’t bother me when I entered Baruch. I didn’t have to worry about issues with finding friends or fitting in. I was placed in a “LC” which allows me to study with the same group of students in many classes. In fact, I already made a lot of friends. Next, I didn’t have to worry about classes because there are unlimited resources at Baruch. There are so many programs and centers provided to aid me. I feel really welcomed and comfortable. The transition is so easy that I am able to focus more on what I want to do for the next nest for year at Baruch instead of having to worry if I will be able to make it.
For the upcoming semesters, I hope to become engaged in as many events as I can. I want to become involved in this helping community. Aside from doing well in my classes and obtaining a degree, I want to be able to meet many people and hear about their experiences at Baruch. I believe that instead of crying to my best friend, I will be bragging to her the wonderful experience I have at Baruch.