Journal #3

Next Steps…

Being a Scholar and having the opportunity to begin college with a learning community is very helpful. There is an advisor and a peer mentor who willing help me with whatever problems I face. Although I have yet to have such a problem, or make use of their assistance, it is reassuring to know that they are there. However, they are just two of the many resources that are available. From the special freshmen seminars we had, I am now aware of many more if not all the help that I have; from the Writing Center, to tutors, to the STARR center, etc.

The Community Service Project allowed me to really utilize the help our librarian Stephan Francour gave in his workshop. I was able to more effectively search for my group’s organization than I probably would have before that meeting. Although I didn’t use the school databases for this particular project, because of freshmen seminar, I was given the knowledge to use towards other classes. Similarly, the Community Service Project forced me to communicate with my peers. Sometimes I was put in a situation where I had to initiate the conversation between my group members. Before, I always relied on having others lead me.

When I was younger, I thought of community service/volunteering as something I was required to do in order to get something in return. However, as the years went by, I realized that it means more than that. It felt great to know that I was helping something and I didn’t necessarily want anything back for the work I done, although it is always a nice thought. The Community Service Project hasn’t changed that particular view much. Now I am more aware of who I should help and question why they would need my help to begin with.

I have only used the Writing Center, once, for one of my other classes. Although I was advised beforehand to make appointments ahead of time, my first experience of waiting for over an hour because I didn’t have an appointment taught me to know better for the next time. It was sad to see that I wasn’t able to effectively use what I learned from the Writing Center and get a good grade on my paper, but this will not stop me from going there a second/third/etc. time. In the future, I hope to attend more of the STARR and Writing Center workshops to help me improve in the many areas I lack in. Also, I recognize that the need for me to get rid of my fear of talking to professors and ask them for help when I need it.

Since the beginning of the Fall semester, I attended a few club meetings here and there. However, I haven’t really stuck to any. There were either more ‘important’ things to do. I rationalized my inactiveness as a student by saying I would do more next semester/school year. Although I am not sure if I will do this or not, it is my current plan in regards to clubs.

In the next 3 years, I hope that I will still be a part of the Scholars community. I would learn many things either from classes, from the clubs I will join, the STARR workshops I go to, etc. Then I could use this toward my job/career. Because I am currently undecided on my major, I want to be able to discover the major that I will be happy with yet it will be a career that I can benefit financially from. As I stated in my second journal entry, hopefully, I will be able to use whatever leadership skills I am able to acquire and use them towards the Baruch community.

Journal #2

What does it mean to serve your community?

As a Baruch Scholar, we are not only suppose to be students who receive good grades but the hardworking students that work toward those grades. Although some of us, like myself, may be use to being more school/grades oriented; this is the exact opposite of what a scholar should be. Rather than focusing on ourselves and things that doesn’t mean more than a grade to pass and get the credits as of now, we should think about what we can do that will benefit us in the long run.

Most Baruch Honors and Scholars students were probably chosen because they weren’t just a star student. It was because they were also individuals who excelled in sports, volunteering, etc. In this light, I think it is expected of us or more correctly, our obligation, to continue to show that side of us and more. It is important to be well-rounded and share with everyone the most we have to offer.

Since we have less worries than regular Baruch students, we should put the unused brainpower into other places. Honors has stressed the importance of helping and providing our services for others through non-profit organizations. We should be more aware of what we have, what others lack, and how we can help them with our abilities. By working with those in need, we would be able to learn to respect the opportunities that we have. We can choose to only fulfill our minimum requirements or hopefully realize the importance of our actions. From there we would build from them to develop skills and traits, such as leadership and many more.

Others may find it easy to automatically say “I hope to be a leader at Baruch and be in Student Government,” “I’m going to be a great peer mentor,” etc. For someone like me, personally, to say such things would make me seem unnatural and fake. I recognize that those are ideas that I should be thinking. I want to be able to provide for others and show I am a living and breathing human being that is capable of more than reading and studying. Right now the path toward those thoughts are still unclear. However, I think with the help of the responsibilities I have as a Scholar and the services I will do, they can assist me to develop the necessary traits in order full what a Baruch Scholar is expected to.

Journal #1

Where Have You Been and Where Are You Going?

Even though I was born in America, my entire family immigrated here. Which may be typical of many families here in New York. That being said, because my parents didn’t speak much of any English until recent years, they had to work long hours (sewing and fixing radios, if I remember correctly) when I was younger. Before my mom switched her job, I remember either being in daycare/school or at my grandma’s house. Maybe it was because I spent so much time there or because I now realized how hard my parents were working and continue to work, now I value family a lot.

For this reason, I tend to listen and consider their suggestions more than I probably should, especially in regards to my future. But in high school, I made a decision that they didn’t particularly approve of. My parents supported me either way, with much criticism of course, because it was a decision that I would have to live with for the rest of my high school career; choosing an arts heavy major rather than a science or technical major. For the last two years that I spent learning skills such as drawing, photography, graphic design, web design, animation, and film  (video making), I can say that I do not regret the choice I made. Spending all-nighters editing a video that either I made or my group made together or creating a 3D character are experience that I may never have again. I was never a science or technical person anyway. Of course I passed all those classes, but my mind didn’t fully grasp dissecting and learning the elements too well.

This of course left me with limited options as to the career path that I could pursue in. I would be lying if I said I’m not interested in pursuing the newly found interests that I got a taste of. But as my parents insisted, there might not be a stable future down that path. Which led me to the business world that I am not sure if I am ready to immerse myself into as of yet. Mainly because a lot of which, to my beliefs  — correct me if I’m wrong –, involves being socially active and being able to present my ideas well or it could lead me down a mundane office life would definitely keep me in my closed bubble.

Why you may ask? I probably wouldn’t be forced to face my fears of speaking to others. Which is apparently a big problem that I thought I was able to let go of. Even though I have had experience speaking to others, whether it be children at a summer camp or actual working adults in the business world at an internship I had two summers ago, the nervousness I feel doesn’t seem to go away easily. Hopefully, my speech communications class will be able to get rid of this problem once at for all and not just temporarily as it was before. Otherwise, I’m going to have big problems in the future.

With the semester only lasting from August to December and with classes that will be changing next semester, unlike the way high school was structure, I wonder if I will be able to adjust myself to be more comfortable with not only my classmates but the classroom environment in time to be able to easily and more actively participate and immerse myself into the discussions. This is of course one of the many problems I’ve begun to encounter as college started. Another would be to manage myself more efficiently. The workload as increase slightly, but in exchange we have more time in our schedules. Yet, as embarrassed as I am to say this, I have succumbed to the evils of procrastination. There always seems to be more time, until there isn’t anymore. But, this hasn’t changed my “no sleeping until everything is finished” policy.

As the reality of college life has really hit me when I got my first papers back and anxiously waiting for the upcoming exams and deadlines, I know and will try hard to curb my habits. Although I had hoped to add some fun to my life in terms of clubs, I do not know if I will be able to this semester. As of right now, my goals for this semester is to
– work harder since there is a GPA to maintain to stay in honors.
– try to overcome my shyness and fear of speaking.
– gain more confidence along the way.
– try hard enjoy the most of classes that I’m currently in because most of them happen to fall in the categories that I  don’t particularly have an interest for.
– remember to read consistently, whether it be the readings for English/Philosophy or the textbooks.
– remember to ask for help when I need it!

In the further future, I would love to finally find the career path that I would like to pursue. Hopefully, it’ll satisfy both my interests and my parents’; especially since I have a feeling I’ll be by my family for a long time. The most ideal situation would be if this career would allow me to travel a lot. That way I will be able to make up for the traveling I couldn’t do because of how busy my parents were/are and I could still have freedom while being with my family.