My magical first semester and winter break in the U.S. – by Patience Uwase
The first time I stepped on the campus with two of my mentors, Diane Kohler and Miranda Holmes, I was excited! Excited to meet new people and excited to learn and grow as a person. During the international orientation, I made some of my closest friends at school, and it was fun getting to know people who were experiencing college for the first time just like me.
However, this excitement started to diminish as the assignments increased and I missed home. I dealt with my homesickness by getting involved on campus. I joined The TAB which is an online newspaper that operates on different universities. I became a representative for my freshmen hall and was recently elected as one of the strategic planning officers of Bucknell’s Africa Student Association (BASA).
Getting involved helped me meet more students who were or had been where I am, and I got to exercise my communication and leadership skills. I also loved getting to know all my different professors and learning from them. I know that building these connections was the reason my first semester of college was a success!
I also got to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Palo Alto with my mentor Neary Ting and her beautiful family and in San Francisco with Christine Le and her family. Neary introduced me to Star Wars, and I was excited when we went to see it at the movie theater. I had the pleasure of meeting her parents and sisters, tasting their wonderful Cambodian dishes and I won’t even get started on all the Christmas gifts! I went to see plays with Christine, got to meet her family and friends and even attended the SHE-CAN Farmgirl Flowers event with her mom and my lead mentor Miranda Holmes.