Next Steps…

My understanding of community service has changed a lot since the beginning of the project. With my group, or individually, I will always need the help of other people in order for me to help other people. We have had to step outside our comfort zones and contact strangers just so we can help other strangers. Of course as any group project goes, we all learn new things from dealing with 3 or 4 other students on one collaborative project. Ultimately, these connections and the learning experiences from making these connections will help us advance not only in the realm of community service but in any kind of scholastic or social setting. Knowing how to find particular resources or use certain databases from the libraries website will be a definite advantage when we are writing 20 page research papers somewhere in the next 7 semesters.

In the next 3 years, I see myself in a vastly different place than I am right now. This first semester was a huge adjustment for me, so I kept my schedule relatively low key so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. With my new knowledge of Baruch, time management, and (the social failure otherwise known as) the LIRR, I will be able to get more involved in various clubs and activities. My job search was sadly unsuccessful this semester, but hopefully I will be able to pick something up over winter break that will sustain me through the next three and a half years. I want to be living somewhere other than my parents’ house (sooner rather than later) before my time at Baruch is up. I want to be able to answer the question “What are you majoring in?” with a definite answer, not some mosh of incoherent words. As for my last year at Baruch, I want to be at an internship that requires me to do more than go on Starbucks runs. I want to be revising and sending my resume out to prospective employers, although the thought of having a full-time job definitely scares me more than I care to admit.

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What does it mean to serve your community?

I feel as though it’s still kind of hard to definitively say what my role is right now as I’m a freshman barely halfway through my first semester. I should be able to help my peers with schoolwork and whatever else they need help with; as I grow into a more experienced upper classman, I’m hoping I will be able to share my years of wisdom with other students, helping them ease into the Baruch lifestyle as many people have done for me.

I am so grateful for the opportunities that Baruch has presented to me, such as a full scholarship and the chances for networking and internships. Because of this, my community service shouldn’t be contained to only Baruch but it should be spread further into the community around Baruch. As tedious as the community service every semester may seem, I know that it will only benefit me in the long run.┬áMany people have made these opportunities available for me, and now it is my turn to make opportunities available for other people, even if they can’t be in the form of a MacBook Pro.

As Baruch Scholars, it is up to all of us to establish precedents for others to follow once they arrive at Baruch. We need to keep the mindset of helping others alive at Baruch because many people take the help and chances they receive for granted. Donating some of our time to help those around us seems only right after all the advantages that were seemingly handed to us upon entering Baruch.

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Where Have You Been and Where Are You Going?

Somebody needs to come up with a shorter title for the first journal entry. Anyway, I’m Fionnuala O’Donnell, born and raised in a small town on Long Island (I think it’s actually “in” Long Island, but that just doesn’t sound right to me). Growing up in a small town like Lynbrook, while many people see it as a negative, I’ve grown to love the physical closeness of everyone. I’ve grown up knowing that all of my friends are within a 10 minute walk from my house, so college was a big adjustment for me when all my friends left. And to me, my friends are everything. I tend to be the mediator and advice giver of the group, not always putting in my two cents unless it’s asked for, but it is appreciated that much more.

Living in such a small town would assure something else: attending a small high school. I had a graduating class of 240, and while it is bigger than other towns’ high schools, we all still knew everybody walking across that stage at graduation. Over my 4 years at high school, I’ve developed relationships with a lot of classmates and teachers (good or bad) that I will never forget.

One of the biggest influences to my life was the music department (band geek alert). I was the drum major of the marching band, on the board of the music honor society, and my favorite thing of all, a clarinet and sax player for the pit orchestra for the yearly musicals. Some of the friendships I’ve made over the past 4 years wouldn’t have been possible without the musical. We would start practicing, as an orchestra, in September and not come together with vocals until about 3 week before the show. That rehearsal is called a sit-and-sing and usually happened nice and early on a Saturday morning (not pleasant). Then the last week before the show, “Hell Week”, was exactly what it sounds like: hell. It was 4 never ending nights of dress rehearsals. And although “never ending” is obviously an exaggeration, we would arrive at school around 5 and get out around midnight; we would sleep walk through school that week. All of that work was put in so we could have 3 shows: Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday matinee. My last show was a difficult show to perform. I was exhausted from track and late night rehearsals and applying for colleges, but it was also the best one. All the seniors couldn’t perform the exit song when the house lights went up because we realized we would never be doing this and got a wee-bit emotional. But I couldn’t have asked for a better last performance.

For the first semester, I hope to make friendships that last throughout college. Whether or not we have as many classes doesn’t matter but I want to be able to look back and feel like my “college experience” of commuting had some positive gains (certainly NOT the “freshman 15”). Of course I want to succeed in any and all classes that I take and I want to look out for every opportunity to better this experience over the next semester and the other seven. College was a difficult transition from high school, but I feel like I am adapting well to not being “spoon-fed” (as LHS so kindly did).

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