College: University of Buffalo
Year: First Year
What was your college journey like?
Growing up in Brooklyn, I enjoyed the ‘good morning’ from my neighbors and friends I would meet at the bus/train stop. The conversations at every corner made me feel welcomed no matter where I went in the neighborhood. Feeling this sense of home wherever I went made moving and adjusting to a new school and residential environment in Buffalo a little difficult.
You struggled with one of your math courses and started off with a low average, but were able to pull it up to an A- by the end of the semester.
I spoke with my professor and he told me that I was using too many high school shortcuts to approach the problems – he wanted them fully worked out with the methods he taught. That insight helped a lot and I can’t recommend meeting with your professors enough! I also attended recitation and went to the math help center before exams. Another key tool was a group chat my class created where I could ask for help with practice exams or homework questions. Being able to learn from my peers was useful because we could all kind of translate it to simpler terms we understood. Although I struggled at first, this class helped me to learn about all the help that is available for students on campus.
Having built a strong foundation for academic support, how do you feel moving forward with your degree?
I feel confident about doing well in my classes. I am questioning whether to continue with Accounting or switch to Business with concentration in Marketing. Both majors have the same course work for the first two years which gives me time to explore both fields before coming to a decision.
Speaking of your classes, what have you been enjoying most?
I enjoy the level of responsibility college places on me. Professors don’t remind students everyday of upcoming assignments or exams. They expect students to be responsible and look at the syllabus. Knowing what is expected of me makes me feel proud when I get a good grade because I know that it is the result of my hard work.
What about hobbies or something you enjoy away from the classroom?
I like to visit new places, write, and spend time with my family. Even though Buffalo is small, there are plenty of places to tour in and around it. Niagara Falls is a common location for tourists which was the first place I visited when I moved here. Recently, I have visited Canalside and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Touring is fun especially with my family. I always look for opportunities to go home early to spend the afternoon with them. My four year old brother calls me every hour to check on me and when I will be coming home. With a loud announcement for everyone, he is always the first person to greet me. In addition, I also like to write poems and short stories. Even though I never considered studying literature, reading and writing always gives me peace of my mind.
I love your story about your younger brother – too cute! One final question, what is a piece of advice for fellow first year Scholars?
Utilize your resources such as on-campus tutoring, office hours, and class group chats. Attending tutoring for help with homework or an upcoming exam or essay is very helpful. I was always a bit nervous to ask questions in front of the class, so I attended tutoring and clarified those questions, or visited my professors during office hours to ask about specific class material. You cannot simply say “I don’t understand anything” – bring in specific questions in order to get the help you need. Also, before asking a professor, check with your peers first. Oftentimes, a class will create a group chat (and if not, then suggest creating one).