Sunday, June 23, 2013

Let's Make a P.A.C.T

Ithaca's smoldering humidity encompassed the walls of my dorm room as well as the entire Cornell campus early this morning. Since there was not a planned event, I went to breakfast at the Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC) with Tamilyn and my floormate Rachel at 10:00 AM. Luckily, we arrived when there were still some delicious breakfast items from eggs with cheese to large vegetarian waffles. Michelle, Tomi, Jenna, and another floormate named Sherry later joined us.
Sherry and Rachel during breakfast

By 1:30 PM, the Crash Study Skills course was held at Bailey Hall to briefly explain how to adjust to the college life. Throughout the three hour seminar, video presentations featuring Cornell students, trivia questions, and topics including time management and the necessity of sleep were discussed. A combination of anxiety and hesitance formed within my stomach. What will my class be like? How will I balance my course work, personal chores, and responsibilities for the ILC and still get nine hours of sleep? These questions and many others raced through my mind during the event. I had always assumed that college courses were simply more advanced than high school, just with longer hours. But honestly, I have no idea what to expect and this frightened me. My moment of inner contemplation was interrupted as the RCAs tossed multicolored, different sized beach balls into the crowd of students. The students sitting near me were enjoying this break and I was able to temporarily escape my worries by spiking the plastic spheres across the room. After ten minutes, the session resumed.
Beach balls tossed among the 900 Cornell summer students during a ten minute break
Everyone has their own way style of learning. In order to determine what this was, all the students were given a survey asking us, from a scale of 1-4, which phrases best represent how we like to learn. I discovered that I am an accommodator. According to the provided packet labeled "The Four Learning Styles", an acccommodator is one who learns best in hands-on situations and believe in the truth of his or her experiences. Accommodators tend to get things done but do not gather all of the information presented to them. Ever since elementary school, I had difficulty fully absorbing my teacher's lessons but I was still capable of doing well. It was truly enlightening to discover this new piece of information about myself. Now, I can determine how to develop my learning style in order to endure the three week course. 

Perhaps the most important aspect of the crash course were four main components necessary to thrive at Cornell and college in general: perspective, autonomy, connectedness, and tone (P.A.C.T). Success can be achieved if you have fun learning, listen to yourself, take action once setting your goals and priorities, and be unafraid of asking for help from friends, professors, or advisers. My biggest weakness is time management and knowing how I can complete my work without pulling an all-nighter. In addition, I tend to not request assistance from others because I sometimes feel as though I am portraying myself as a dummy. But I learned that college is for dummies. I am there to learn and asking for help in one of the best ways to do so. 

A sense of enlightenment overcame me as I walked out of Bailey Hall. Despite the bleak and dreary sky, unexpected rainstorm, and sounds of thunder that occurred just ten minutes later, I still maintained a positive perspective. I do not know what will happen tomorrow, but I will face the Freedom and Justice course head on, knowing that I will try best. 

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