To all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and step-mothers out there, I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I believe everyday should be dedicated to you all because, quite literally, where would we be without you? Us kids may be trouble sometimes but we truly do notice and appreciate all that you do for us. I mean, in my past blogs I have talked about how much I do love the food here at Scranton, but nothing compares to my own mom’s cooking. Nothing every does or can and that’s just one thing that I am incredibly thankful for! So to all the sons out there, I hope none of you forgot about this day. I know there are a bunch that probably did, considering my Mandarin Chinese professor really helped me out this year! She scheduled a day last week for a cultural lesson where we learned some paper folding and what Mother’s Day means in China and we made cards for our moms in the process! That one really helped me out because I have been so busy for the past few months that I haven’t even thought about it! So here I am working as hard as I can to write the best Chinese characters in the world for the best woman in the world! 我爱你。
With only two weeks left of school, I can not believe how fast the year has gone. I was talking to my dad about high school memories and things I would never forget that mostly had to do with my swim team. I shared unforgettable memories with a group of teammates that I will never be able to forget and days where I just sit and think about them truly show how fast time goes by. This is especially true when you are at a school with so much to offer and so much to experience. There is never a day that I was bored and that has just made this school year fly by. Sadly, this will be my last blog until next school year where I will have a great internship with the SEC to talk about and many more adventures that will take place! I can not believe I will be in my second year so soon but I guess no one can slow down time, so I’ll just have to work at believing it all from now on! To everyone that is going to college for your freshman year next year, I have a little advice for you! First, no you won’t need five cars full of shoes on move-in day. Just don’t be afraid to volunteer to try new things at college. It really helps you to make some great new friends and will only serve to give you great memories for years to come. No matter how small something seems, try it if it interests you in the least and your freshman year will be just as fulfilling and exciting as mine!
Here is the thing, I never thought I would be saying this, but every person that said college flies by is 100% correct. I can not believe how fast this year has gone. I was talking to my future roommate yesterday about how we remember freshman year of high school like it was yesterday and can’t believe our freshman year of college is just three weeks away. I have experienced so much this entire year and really am excited for the years to come when I can do and see even more than I already do now. I have to say, I regret nothing that I did all year and am truly proud of that. Scranton has been a city and school that really kept my academic and career motivation higher than I could have imagined but even though there may not be too much to do in Scranton, there was always fun to be had! The people I have grown close with these past few months really give me a great feeling that I will have an incredible three years. To those that are graduating high school soon, remember how long freshman year seemed? This is going to be nothing like that. No matter what you do, the weeks fly by when you’re this busy. The freedom makes the days blow by as well. You will be missing mom’s cooking but will be dumbfounded at how quickly you will be home for spring break and then the summer, having a full year under your belt already. (Yes mom I really do miss your cooking, no matter how highly ranked our food is, it can never compare).
So only two weeks and finals week are left and I am a mix of nervous for finals, anxious for the summer to start, excited for my internship to come, and a little sad that one of my four years of college is already gone! At least I know these memories won’t pass as quickly as the actual experiences do! So long story short, just believe everyone when they say college goes insanely fast and cherish these times because you blink and suddenly you’re a senior!
So I have deemed the weather acceptable enough to start running outside! It is incredibly nice to finally explore places around the campus. I went for about seven miles today and was able to see quite a bit! At first, I found myself in the middle of a charity walk for heart disease up at the local park. Then, I starting running in a residential area with old, victorian style houses that were some of the nicest houses I have seen! Next I headed to the downtown area where I ran past the local bus station and into a National Historic Site that I never knew was even there. It turned out to be an old train museum and actually seemed to be pretty popular! As a kid, I loved anything that moved with an engine. My mom and I would sit on the side of a road any time we saw a construction site so that I could watch the “big trucks” for hours. Long story short, I guess some parts of you just don’t grow up. Although my run was coming to an end, I didn’t really want to leave because I was just having a good time looking at everything around me like I was still in fourth grade!
Also, another part of my week was quite exciting to me! Recently, I was given the wonderful opportunity of joining the Business Leadership Honors Program here at the University of Scranton. The incoming class joined the junior class to say farewell to the seniors that will be graduating from the program this year. It was a fun, relaxed way to meet current members and really start off the experience that will go on for the next two years. I am incredibly excited to see what is in store for me with this program and to see what kind of work I will be doing with my classmates as well.
So once again there is some incredible weather for the weekend! It’s a great thing to see everyone walking around outside and just seeing the campus in an overall more energetic mood. There was a buzz around campus this whole time and it’s a feeling you can’t really describe. I am certainly hoping this weather stays this time unlike the weather we had a few weeks ago.
Speaking of the weather, I could not imagine a nicer day to clean up the streets around the community of Scranton. Today was the semi-annual Street Sweep. Hundreds of students and many of the clubs on campus all volunteered their afternoons to help pick up litter around the city, lay down mulch at Nay Aug Park, and plant flowers in the downtown area. This is a wonderful community service event that really has great popularity and enthusiasm from all the volunteers. Everyone really seemed to have a fun time because you get to be outside with your friends on a beautiful day. And, you don’t feel bad about not doing homework because you are helping out the community! It’s really a win-win if you ask me.
Another thing I noticed this weekend was a huge number of tours. This got me thinking about what the date actually is and that yes, indeed, it is APRIL. Not even the beginning, but almost nearing the end of April. I can not believe how fast my freshman year has gone and that almost exactly a year ago from today I told my parents that I was coming to the University of Scranton. We put down our deposit during a preview day, and bought my first article of clothing with Scranton written on it. Little did I know that I was going to get a million free shirts through the course of the year! That feeling of putting the deposit down and locking in my position at this school has been pretty much unmatched and I know that all of you out there looking for the right college for you, that feeling will come where you know a certain college is the right place for you.
Another week blows by and we only have about six weeks until my first year as a college student is in the books! I don’t know what I was expecting when I originally moved it in but what has happened all year certainly has surprise me and blown away any possible expectations. One of these surprises was the weather forecast for this past week. We got two days of snow and every single day was below 32 degrees. Last time I checked the calendar I am pretty sure it said April. I don’t know if Mother Nature got that same memo as everyone else though! I guess that is what I get for bringing my winter jacket home when I went on spring break. So here is a lesson for anyone coming next year, keep your winter jacket in your dorm until at least May. We can all hope that is enough time for the city of Scranton to warm up.
Although this weather may still be a little chilly, that does mean one thing. I don’t have to be sweating like crazy when I dress in my suit and tie. I recently had an interview to decide my placement in the Business Leadership Honors Program here at the University of Scranton. This is a program that offers wonderful opportunities to students to develop leadership skills and experience throughout their college career. The interview was a great experience in and of itself. I heard questions I have never heard before in previous interviews and it was new because I was being interviewed by current students at the U. So I have no idea what the decision is on that but I figured I would share my what I have done with that opportunity so far because every step of the way has been a learning experience for me and I could not be thankful enough for that alone!
So spring break came and went way too fast! I thought you were supposed to feel rested after breaks! I guess that just does not really happen anymore once college starts! Besides the midterms I had this week after break, it was actually a wonderfully stress free time with family and friends. Here is a little bit of unpaid advertising: I worked at Krause’s Homemade Candy in Albany, New York for the week. My aunt and uncle happen to own and run the store and I truly believe it is the greatest chocolate out there! Yes, better than anything you can find in Wal-mart. I like to help out there during the busy season of Easter to give them a little bit of an extra hand. They sell bunnies ranging from the size of your thumb all the way to about three and a half feet tall, rightfully named “Titus” (for a mere $479.00). The environment of a candy store during the holiday is season is so happy and generous. I mean, who can be sad, mean, and impatient while surrounded by hundreds of pounds of chocolate? I bet you wouldn’t be! So one more time, just in case you guys did not get it at first. They are Krause’s Homemade Candy, they are located in Albany, New York, and only sell the highest quality chocolate there is! On a side note, coming back from a week of working there, I took too much chocolate back to school with me and now really need to test my self control every single moment I am in my dorm room. We can just say, I am not passing that test.
After a relaxing but busy week it was great to get back on campus and see everyone again. It is especially nice to be able to go outside without feeling like your fingers are going to freeze off. Taking a break from studying and playing a little frisbee really does put you in a great mood and gets you ready for the week ahead.
To all of those prospective students that came to Preview Day today, I really hope you enjoyed the day! Let me answer a question that you probably have, yes, the University IS as good as it seems. You will have an amazing time here and I hope you choose to accept!
As midterms approach for every student on campus, we see spring break come one step closer each and every day. Those pesky midterms are the only hurdles between us a spring break where we can finally kick back and relax for a few days. Although, many did that during this beautiful weekend of Parade Day. This may be a stressful time but will be over before you know it, just like everything else when you’re at college.
A great new opportunity that I decided to take advantage of is called Scranton Emerging Leaders. This is a seminar type class that meets once a week to develop leadership skills to be put to use outside the classroom setting. We have only had one meeting so far but I can say I have already learned so much. First of all, it is a completely new environment with completely new people that I have never met before. Whether it is a classroom setting or not, this forces you to learn new things. There is great cultural diversity, including an exchange student from Brazil and one from Ecuador. There is also an incredibly strong sense of determination and drive. These people in that room worked hard to get there and they want to use this simply as a stepping stone to reach bigger and better things both in their Scranton careers and in the post-graduate world. One other great aspect I feel is noteworthy about this opportunity is that it is mostly run by former participants of this program. They brought great enthusiasm to the first meeting and could speak about their personal experiences with the program and how they were able to apply it once the program concluded. This brought a great sense of understanding and comfort to me, who had no idea what to expect or what I would get out of this. This is just one of the many different ways that a student, in the business school or not, can develop skills and attributes to help him or herself and many others throughout his entire life.
So today I saw a bunch of prospective students being walked around campus by a tour guide! I can not believe that it has been an entire year since I was doing that. I remember how I visited Scranton about six times and probably could have been a tour guide by the end. Remembering making all those trips out here with my mom, packing the car with snacks and entertainment, and just having a great time really makes me miss those times. College is a wonderful place that is incredibly fun, stressful, and rewarding. I have certainly had my fair share of all three of those emotions throughout these two semesters so far. They are basically unavoidable. But sometimes you just can’t help but remember back to high school when I could see my family at any moment (sometimes maybe a little too often, or so I thought). College is incredibly different. For most of us, our family is a little farther away and sometimes that is a little difficult to deal with. However, they are always only a phone call away. If I had to give any first year advice, I would say it would be to keep in touch with your parents right from the start. Some may naturally do that, others may not. You will soon get to a point where you are going to miss your family, your bed, and your mom’s cooking. That will happen no matter where you go, and no matter how good the University of Scranton food is. I am not saying this to scare you, but rather, to show that it is okay to set time aside to call your parents and just talk about your day or week. They should be open to that and truly enjoy just hearing your voice. These types of things are what really make the weeks fly by. There will be difficult times in college, no matter where you go. But the most important thing to know is that you when you think there is no one that has your back and everyone seems to be against you, look back home and find those people that have supported you from day one. They will not have left your side even if you are 200 miles away.
So, as for this winter, is it a bust yet? Will I be able to get out for a decent ski run at all before the 97 degree weather hits? I have no idea! A few weeks ago, all of you in Jersey got rocked with something like thirty inches of snow where we got an overwhelming amount measuring in at around a half an inch. In short, this weather is insane and I don’t know how to feel about it yet! First, let me just say, the summer is the best season there is but winter has its qualities too! I mean who doesn’t like a surprise day off every once in awhile? That doesn’t tend to happen in the summer! Also, I do love skiing as much as I can but for most of the weekends this year it has been warm enough to go swimming! (Almost). I have no idea if it wants to get warmer, or if in two hours it is going to hit the negative ten degrees that the Scranton alum talk about all the time! I guess I am just not allowed to say that I got the full Scranton experience if I don’t walk out my door and have my lungs hurt because it is so cold.
This is definitely the easiest winter I have had to deal with. First, I never have to deal with worrying about my car not starting because it isn’t hear anyway! Next, if I throw on a sweatshirt or two for my four minute walk to class, I know I will be just fine. I know I probably won’t end up in the hospital for immediate hypothermia every time I walk outside after class! Long story short, I am not really sure how I feel about this teasing winter. It seems to just want to be a little bit of both spring and winter at the same time. So I guess we just wait and see what is in store for yet another odd winter!
I have to end on a separate note to say congratulations to my buddy Alex for getting the RA position! It is a great thing to do here at Scranton and Res Life just gained a great guy.
For the past two semesters I have been given the opportunity to study Mandarin Chinese (中国文). The class offered for this is taught by an incredible professor who truly makes learning languages fun. Before I came to college I took five years of Spanish and really did not enjoy it at all. I am not into my second semester of Mandarin and I love it more than ever. Recently, my professor brought in two students that took a trip to Taiwan to talk to us about their experiences. It truly looked like one of the greatest experiences. There are not many places that can offer such scenic views along with a million different culture shocks where the traveler truly realizes how different other places can be. From the exotic food to the multitude of different types of old, beautiful temples, there really is something to do for absolutely everyone.
After seeing this presentation, it truly got me thinking about studying abroad one semester or traveling to do service projects around the world and across the United States. I would truly love to see these different cultures in the process of helping in any way that I can. The University of Scranton really gives each student the opportunity to do this. By offering countless retreats, domestic and international service projects, and study abroad opportunities, there is something for every person that wants to see the wonders that every new place has to offer. Many schools truly can’t compete with the countless places this school can send you.
Not many things can beat the experiences gained from traveling across the world. Whether you take classes or not, you always come back knowing something new, like the reason a Confucian temple has 108 doorknobs on each door to the temple, or what country has the world’s largest McDonalds (Russia). Either way, being a traveler is an experience incomparable to any class, seminar, or campus job you can have.
(Sorry to the parents out there if I put the idea of long term travel in anyone’s mind. I am sure they will allow you to tag along!)