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1 Hannah Claire Celemen Honors Freshman Seminar December 5, 2012 Final Reflective Letter Imagine gazing into the

translucent water of the ocean, you swim deeper underwater to get a closer look. The closer you get to the bottom of the ocean, the clearer it becomes to you. With fish swarming around and darting in and out of its confines, there lies a magnificent coral reef. Here, many aquatic animals seek shelter and nourishment before they go off on an adventure through the endless ocean. As such, the diverse communities of living organisms that reside in the coral reef is the equivalence of the whole student population attending college as they prepare themselves for the challenges of the real world. As college students, our goal is to learn and soak up the knowledge provided to us. College is a safe haven for different kinds of people to gather and coexist. Community will be my key unifying theme as I explore how the people that I interact with since the beginning of the semester have affected my growth. I feel like my first semester of college passed by in a blink of an eye. It doesnt even feel like its been five months already! This semester has been surprisingly fun and challenging. Transitioning from high school to college requires a lot of adjustments. On top of schoolwork where I have to figure out how to manage my time properly and keep up with my classes, I also have to learn how I would interact with my peers and my professors. Having a social network is a good foundation to have for study groups and learning new materials in class that are hard to understand or just having someone to walk with and motivate you to go to class. Being in the Honors Program has many benefits. The number one benefit is being able to sit in a small classroom with a set of 15-20 students and professors that are eager to familiarize

2 and get to know their students. The students are more likely to connect with each other in the small groups we have for honors classes. It is a great chance to get to know the people around me that are likely to take the same set of honors classes with me. It was especially interesting developing an interview profile because it gave me the chance to sit down and talk with another peer. It was a very comfortable atmosphere for me because it felt like we were just hanging out and joking around as we got to know each other. We later had to share what we learned about our partner in class, so everyone also got to learn random facts about the others. I learned new things about my peers that I could relate to like living up north and interesting hobbies. The Honors Program also promotes other teambuilding opportunities with venture that brings us together because of our common interest in the outdoors. I have been to two venture events where I got to meet other honors students outside of class. It was a fun experience because we got to play in the low ropes course and did activities that built on trust. One activity that challenged my trust issues is the trust circle where everyone stood around me with their arms out, waiting to catch me when I fall. My job was simply that, to fall and believe that they would catch me. I kept thinking that if I fall the wrong way or if I were too heavy for someone, I would fall face first. But I closed my eyes and let myself go. Well, not falling was a great relief! I believe that a community should know how to rely on each other and be able to provide support when its needed. Once I learned that I could depend and trust my peers, I was able to open up and just enjoy myself in their company. I am majoring in Pre-Kinesiology/Athletic Training in hope of becoming a Physical Therapist. The career I am pursuing requires me to take a lot of math and science classes as prerequisites for this course. Chemistry and Biology are the most difficult classes for me to keep up with because I feel like I am constantly being bombarded by new material and work every

3 week. The teaching method in college is faster paced than in high school so I had to figure out how to manage my time in order to get all the homework done on time and prepare for exams. The most helpful factor to help me cope with this craziness is having people that I can depend on and study with. Ive learned that discussing the material in a study group with people who are better at explaining it is very helpful. It is also good to know that I m not the only one being confused by the material. Everyone in the group collaborated by explaining and asking questions about the material. I would like to connect my overall college experience with the Fugees from Outcasts United by Warren St. John as they embodied the importance of having a community. The town of Clarkston is very similar to college. The most diverse group of people that come from different countries gathers here to improve their life. I can relate to the Fugees because they had to leave their homes and had to learn to adapt in a new environment. When they formed their soccer team they found people with the same interest as them. When I joined the Asian Student Association, I met people that understood what it is like to an Asian American. They also shared their culture with me. Being in this club has exposed me to different types of food, music, and movies. I have also realized that I have people I can depend on now since the semester began. These people include my friends from my roommates, study groups, and clubs. The children in the Fugees team depend on each other and Luma. Through soccer they shared many hardships. It is because of what they experienced together that they became closer. I truly believe that human interaction is an important factor to my development as a student in college because being able to depend on others makes the workload and stress more manageable. Having a place I belong to gives me a sense of security because I know that no matter what; I will have their support. College is all about making connections and networking.

4 It is how you hear of job openings or learn about good career opportunities. It is how you get job recommendations and interviews in companies. I believe that the people you spend your years of college is what makes it so memorable. The experiences I have with the people I meet in college, be it good or bad, are preparing me for what I have to face in the real world.