The Community Service Project pushed me to use Baruch’s databases to find out more information about not just the organization I will be volunteering at but also its mission: to fight against poverty. Using the databases helped me become used to the different kinds of search engines which I ended up using for some of my classes such as as Intro to Business and Speech Communication. In the beginning, however, the expanse of the Baruch databases overwhelmed me. Although there were so many reliable sources I could use, I could not find the right one that would give the information I wanted. Since my second speech was related to the organization I chose, I ended up telling my Speech professor about the problems I had with researching information. He suggested I try using Baruch’s “Ask a Librarian” feature. I did. The librarian suggested a website I could go to to find out about the preparation that goes on in a typical soup kitchen in NYC. At first, I thought I was going to get the information I needed for my speech, but it was later when my speech date was approaching that I realized I had to change my topic. Nevertheless, I continue to ask a librarian for help in my researches.

Asking someone for help is usually not the first thing I have in mind when I come across a problem. I would try to solve it on my own until approaching deadlines give me the push I need to ask for help. However, relying on another only gets easier. Each time I “Ask a Librarian,” I become more assured that someone is there to help me instead of worrying whether my questions made me seem stupid. One should make good impressions on others but it isn’t a bad thing to get help from someone and his/her expertise.

Using as much resources as I can now will enable me to use them in the future more effectively. That can only spell good things for my future at Baruch, even if I don’t have a clear idea what my future entails. Although I see myself as a future accountant working with numbers and helping others with their financial situations, a career as an accountant is only a detached dream waiting to be lifted…or to be sealed. I hope that taking more classes will help me discover my passions and that joining clubs will help me learn more about myself. Right now, I am in the process of joining VITA, but I am in search of a club that is geared more towards my personal interests.

My future remains a mystery as of yet but there are things I have learned so far.  From my participation in the Project, I have learned the importance of time management to succeed at Baruch. Putting together the Project has been the least stressful assignment so far in college because of my advisor and my peer mentor. (Thank you!) I really appreciate their sincerity to help me succeed and for making me see that I have been procrastinating (despite once thinking otherwise). The Project has also made me come to understand that community service is considered community service when one does it with the desire to help those in the community.

To serve my community, I will have to first be a part of it.

My role in the Baruch community as a Baruch scholar is to be a student with integrity who goes beyond what the college requires from me. I need to take initiative to not only excel academically but to also find myself—what I like to do and the type of person I am. As part of the community, I have to explore the opportunities available to me—workshops, advisements, internships, volunteer opportunities, the chance to study abroad, etc. These are privileges of mine to seek and transform them into worthwhile experiences. However, these privileges should not be taken for granted. To show our appreciation, we as Baruch Scholars should give back to the community that has given so much to us. This is the culture of service the Honors Program promotes.

To be a part of a community, one has to know the important issues that it addresses and one has to keep up with the current news related to the community. By being an informed member, one will be able to be an active participant instead of a passive one. A passive member just does what is required by one’s community. In contrast, an active member is passionate about what the community as a whole does. Their actions will inspire one to seek out ways to contribute to the community’s goal. This is what being involved in a community means.

Being part of any community is like having an extended family. You can rely on the people that make up your community and they in turn can rely on you.

This Makes Up Most of Me

Hi, my name is Helen.

When I was a kid, I came home from school excited to switch on the TV and watch all the cartoon shows. It was with my mom telling me every day to do my homework before I play that I eventually went to do my homework after I played. She would always make me redo my work if it was messy. Sometimes she would force me to say the multiplication table in Chinese, which I once mastered but now cannot do. However, I don’t have to say it out loud to know what 1 x 1 equals or what 12 x 12 equals.

My mom is one of the reasons why I have pursued math up to Differential Equations in high school. She did not graduate from high school in China, but she taught me everything she knew to give me a solid start for my future math classes. My first dream job was to be a math teacher, and I held onto that dream unto junior high school. But who is to say that I won’t go into education?

Although I plan on being an accounting major–one of the reasons being that I love numbers–I also plan on exploring other academic areas to expand the bubble I have been living in and to make more career options for my future.

My kid self has not completely disappeared yet, fortunately and unfortunately. I’m still the girl who would choose TV over homework especially if I induce that I have enough time for homework later. I can’t concentrate otherwise.

Somehow I have managed to do well in school. I have learned to push myself and to manage my time  decently despite my past desires to watch cartoons 24/7 (especially when I started having access to a computer 24/7).

I was always a competitive child in games, sports, and tests. But attending Stuyvesant High School taught me that I cannot be good at everything. I could have spent all my time studying American History in sophomore year, but then I would have failed my Chinese class. And even then I would not have gotten 100 on any one of the tests. That was just how bad I was at history. But the important thing was learning that although competition can push you to your limits, too much of it can blind you from seeing the important things in your life: friends, family, and fun.

As a college student, I expect to find something I’m passionate about: a sport, a hobby, an area of study, etc. I found things I liked to do while in high school; but tennis, painting, and math are not what I want to commit time for.

For my first semester at Baruch, I am worried about my grades and finding an extracurricular activity that I strongly like. I hope that I can do well for my classes not just for the grades but also for the desire to learn. I also hope that I can find that extracurricular activity…

I hope to be able to express my ideas and opinions more clearly to my peers and professors. I want to enjoy the the college life and to truly be part of the community at Baruch.