By Michelle Sheu, Peer for Career
Freshman year was a tumultuous trip that seemed to last forever, like the daze of a summer break, but ending all too soon.
It’s the same trite story played ad infinitum, like the new kid in the big city, nothing particularly unique or new in the “growing up” phase that we all succumb to. But these individual experiences shape a student’s perspective of the world and their outlook of the future. Although we’re no longer children on the jungle gyms, stumbling and fumbling through life in our adventures and mishaps, we as city students are in the midst of our core, everlasting memories.
Looking back at my freshman year as a current sophomore, I begin to recount the incredible people I met, the late night study sessions, the struggles to find comfort food that hit the spot, sneaking said food into the library and staying there until 12 AM, and hundreds more memories throughout the course of late August into mid May. I already miss my freshman status as an underdog, perhaps because I’m on the edge of the responsibilities my sophomore status brings forth, as I begin beefing up my resume with activities.
In my first year, I pushed myself to limits that I didn’t know were possible, fled from my comfort zone, and crumbled a few times — but in the most perfect ways possible. In between the awkward phases of meeting new people and throwing myself in unfamiliar situations, I learned an incredible amount about myself. By no means was this easy, but it was insanely gratifying to see who I really am, and finding myself through this difficult process.
At one point, I found myself overwhelmed, consumed with ambition, scraping by on bits of time, not getting enough sleep or meals in, weight dropping due to stress. I was that freshman who so desperately wanted to get involved, as if this was my first and last opportunity to do so. I was deeply immersed into the fast pace of the city life, that I had little to no time for myself to reflect. In a dramatic whirlwind of events, I found myself even hating Baruch, and as an arts and design major, I felt estranged from its business rooted nature.
And for a while, it stuck and stung. The school I was destined to spend the next three years of my life, only to feel pigeonholed and cast aside. I let myself stay stagnant during that period, but gradually crawled my way out. It was when I decided to take charge and assume control of my life that I empowered myself to disassociate from some stressors, and reach out for help and support from the amazing friends that I met at Baruch. I picked myself up, began interning at the Lawrence N. Field Center at Baruch College for 3D printing and technology research, started working at STARR Career Development Center as a Peer, and developed my own ad-hoc major in Transmedia Storytelling — I found belonging, contention and fulfillment at Baruch, reinstating my love and pride for my school.
The growing up story is cheesier than 90s Disney movies, but so important to one’s development of character, ambitions, and understanding of self through these low peaks. I might be a sophomore now, but I know that this year alone will bring forth more and more changes that I can’t even begin to anticipate. Days piling up into weeks, weeks into months, and so much more time in between to have my senses knocked out of me and develop thousands of new perspectives. New York City is mine to explore, and Baruch College is there as my support.