College is a lot different than high school, no matter where you go, but especially if you decide to go away from home like I did. So far, I have been able to adjust to the environment and overcome every challenge.
My first semester of college at the Rochester Institute of Technology required a lot of hard work. This is one of the first things you’ll notice. The workload will be heavier and more intense than you have ever experienced. The major challenges are the large volume of reading, the short deadlines, and the writing, writing, writing! What I had previously learned from South Bronx United at tutoring and from high school has helped me manage my time and assignments. So I suggest you pay close attention to everyone who is trying to help you.
On some of those long, seemingly endless nights of studying and writing, it will be only natural for you to fall asleep in the library or a study room. These down periods always pay off on testing days. Every minute of your time counts in college, so you should always be looking to get something productive out of it. On the other hand, you’ll be making a lot of new friends. It’s always exciting to discover how wonderfully diverse college relationships can be. Socializing in college is part of doing well and succeeding. Having a great connection with professors and classmates means getting a helping hand when core classes start to get harder throughout the semester.
Aside from academics there are also extracurricular activities that college offers. The Rochester Institute of Technology offers students more than 300 active clubs and organizations. I’m currently part of the Latin American Student Association (LASA) holding the executive board position as Freshmen Representative. Also, I’m part of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) as a National and Local member. By being part of these established organizations, I was able to build networks and gain professional experience.
Conferences and banquets through these organizations have been new learning opportunities for me. South Bronx United helped prepared me by having symposiums and local talks about specific subjects. My first engineering conference at college was held in Detroit, Michigan. The conference offered students opportunities to get internships for current students and full-time jobs for graduates. The conference was mostly for sophomores and older. I was the only freshman from Region Four to have the chance to attend.
I was also excited to continue playing soccer for fun. I decided to join an intramural soccer team, and the season turned out to be awesome. My team was co-ed, and together we came in third place. Because of academic commitments I missed some games, but our outcome was pretty good. Even though intramural athletics do not fall under the intercollegiate level, my team still required a lot of practice, dedication, and effort to play.
College is incredibly difficult, but it gets one ready for the real world. For me, college life means working hard, being active on campus, and discovering what career you want to pursue.
Freshman, Rochester Institute of Technology
South Bronx United Class of 2014
SBU-PlaySoccer2Give 2014 College Scholarship Recipient