When I tell you I was raised in Plymouth, MN, have no misgivings about who I am. I am not a city boy, I strongly dislike large amounts of people all placed in one spot at the same time. I am more comfortable out in the country-side, with no worries about that person walking unnaturally close to me and wondering what he is holding in his pocket. I do not intend to insult the Twin Cities, nor any other city (although Chicago and New York City scare me even more), I am merely displaying my opinion. When it came time to choose a college, my parents left it up to me to motivate myself and find a college. I did my research and found the University of Twin Cities. I applied and was accepted into their College of Science and Engineering for Chemistry. After a brief discussion with a friend about what college she is going to, my eyes were opened to the University of Minnesota, Rochester. I decided to do some more research, and found some fairly interesting facts. UMR has an entirely medical geared undergraduate program, a small student body, and very near the Mayo Clinic. This was very attractive to me. I toured both campuses, and noticed a very large difference. When I entered the Twin Cities, I was lead by a smattering of signs to a table where they asked my name, searched through a pile of nametags, and handed me one that had my name on it. When I entered UMR, I was greeted by a smiling face that leapt to greet me by name although I had no nametag or identifying characteristic at all. I had to make my decision, and I chose UMR for the following reasons: Twin Cities has about 60,000 students going for many different majors from chemical engineering to beer drinking, I would become lost in the sea of people, and I would wake up every morning scared to go outside and greet the city. UMR had about 300 students all going into the medical field, I can be recognized as me, and I would love the surrounding city (especially Mayo).
No student of UMR is "just a student". Many students get involved in the community, in the school, or both. I decided to take the course of getting involved in both the community and the school. I quickly joined the recreational Soccer Club, the Ballroom Team, the Rochester Student Association, got a job on campus, and I also got a job off campus at the Mayo Clinic. Doing all of these greatly cut back on my time with my roommates, and I was greatly worried that I would lose my social life. Instead, my social life blossomed like a spring lilac. I was going out to dinner after work with my Mayo coworkers, all of the teachers and students got to know me through my on-campus job as I was the one they called to fix anything. Being on RSA helped me meet other active members of the school and those who want an opinion expressed, the Soccer Club and Ballroom Team kept me physically active and helped me meet other people looking to be physically active but still have fun. I have become great friends with many people I met at these events. As a student, you will be forced (it's not so bad, quit groaning) to work together in groups. Being forced to work with someone offers you the opportunity to talk to that cute boy/girl across the table from you that you are too shy to ask out to dinner. Anything can happen over a group discussion.
Being an Orientation and Welcome Week Leader has given me the chance to meet all of the bright incoming freshmen. I admit, my reasons for volunteering were selfish. I get free food, something to do during the day, and I get to meet all of the incoming freshmen so I can them. Those were my original reasons. I quickly discovered that those reasons were not the only factors at play. Not only was I getting to know the incoming freshmen, but they were getting to know me, a big and intimidating upperclassman who is actually really soft and shy. Not only was I helping myself, but I was helping the new freshmen feel more comfortable attending UMR. I was inadvertently doing was I was supposed to be doing.
I assume by class project you meant the Biology Symposium. If not, then let me know which one you meant and I'll rewrite this part. When I was in middle school, I was assigned a project where I had to reach into a hat and pull out a topic. That was my topic I had to write my project on, and I was given a sheet of how and what to write. I hated my topic, and therein hated my project. When we were told that we would be doing a presentation on a topic for Biology, Writing, and Philosophy, I immediately assumed it would be the same. They even gave us a lay-out and an example project. I was already having war-like flashbacks. Then the teacher said the greatest thing I've ever heard: "These are just suggestions, you can do your project in any way you want." We had been given complete freedom in what to write about and how to write it. So my group and I chose a topic we were actually interested about. When our project was finished, there we were in our Sunday best, beaming smiles on our faces, very pleased with our finished product because it was ours. The teachers not only got to see just how much we learned over the semester, but we also learned even more while working on the project. At times, it was even fun (*gasp*).
I believe I will create a habit of leaving you with a quote. As you may have noticed, I took a page from Jarod Kintz while titling this blog. For a while, I believe I will stick to quotes from Jarod Kintz:
"I'm not waiting until my hair turns white to become patient and wise. Nope, I'm dying my hair tonight."
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale