Saturday, June 22, 2013

Growing Up

After officially checking in today, I felt the reality of the situation hit me again. I’m really on my own in a college environment. Just like in an actual college, I needed to branch out and make new friends in order to really have the college experience I signed up for. However, it was difficult because either all my floor mates closed their doors or they were having their last moments with their parents.  

Since I don’t have a roommate, it was more difficult to start making friends. Beforehand, I thought every student was guaranteed a roommate, but like in college, people don’t always get what they want. Of course I would love to have a roommate or even a bigger room, but since the ILC is treating us like adults, I decided to treat the situation like an adult. I shouldn’t complain about minor details like that because not many have this opportunity and I’m very grateful to be given the opportunity to be here taking Hotel Operations Management. I no longer wish for a roommate. Instead, this is a better opportunity to reach out to many others and be even more independent.  

Bailey Hall
We went to Bailey Hall for the Program Welcome and Dean’s Convocation. The Dean’s speech was great. It was long, but very entertaining during the whole speech. I really like his use of humor. Not only did it fit the tone of his speech, but it made sure that his audience would pay attention. I’d love to be able to speak like that in the future. I think that a Speech and Debate Class at school would help myself as well as others improve public speaking. Even though there are Speech and Debate Clubs, an actual class would work even better. More students would take the class so that they don’t have to stay after school.  
Inside of Bailey Hall for the Program Welcome and Dean's Convocation

Throughout the day, I’ve met a very good variety of people. People from around the world are here in Cornell and many are in my class. I was talking to a girl from Korea named Jenny and she shared a lot about her school’s system. Although she goes to an international school, she described how Korean public schools work. Typically, students work very hard in high school in order to get into college and have fun. There is one big test at the end of senior year that determines if the student gets into college. If the student passes, a big and bright future lies ahead. However, when the student fails, he or she either studies for another year to pass the test or goes straight into work. Many students study for years and don’t pass the test. It made me realize how fortunate students of the U.S really are. We have multiple SATs throughout the year for students instead of one per year. This way, time is saved and more students are able to go to college in America. Although many of us complain of how tough the SATs are and how annoying it is, imagine if we only had ONE chance to make something of our lives. At least we don’t have to wait a whole year to try to fix our future. 

By the end of the day, I’ve realized how little I really knew about the world. Besides the whole Korean test thing, I wasn’t aware that other countries were so restricted. For example, people in China were not allowed to have a Facebook. Since I live in a country where freedom is a right, it’s difficult to imagine how life would be if freedom was no longer guaranteed. I’m very grateful for having a right to decide if I want a Facebook or not. After hearing about the lives of others, I grow more and more grateful to the opportunities I’ve been given and taking for granted. Once again, I’d like to thank the ILC for giving me this chance to open my eyes.

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