As finals week rolls around the corner, it’s finally hitting me that my freshman year is coming to a close. I’ll be putting my memories into boxes once again, except this time I’ll be missing my UCI family, my second home. Things have certainly changed this year for me, and I can proudly say that I am a stronger, more independent person. (Though I will surely miss not having to do the dishes this year!) I have become a more active and attentive college student, and I am so proud be a UCI Anteater.
I have mentioned this before, but I cannot emphasize how much FYEP has contributed to my freshman experience. Living in Palo with constant interactions with my fellow undecided peers has helped me determine my academic and extracurricular interests. Coming in, I was intimidated by the large number of residents and I wondered if I would be able to get to know them all. To my great surprise, I learned everyone’s names quickly and I never felt uncomfortable with saying “Hello!” In addition, just after the first few weeks as a student, I was very grateful for remaining undecided. Many of my declared friends told me that they were not enjoying their classes and wanted to switch their major. Of course, you have the freedom to change your major at any time, but coming in undecided has saved me a lot of stress and time concerning a major choice.
Getting accepted into FYEP was my first achievement as a UCI student and has motivated me to apply to other positions. Following FYEP, I was accepted to SMLI (Summer Multicultural Leadership Institute) in the summer, which has opened my eyes to the various opportunities that I now am not afraid of pursuing. Among them, I became a volunteer for the Cross-Cultural Center, a participant in MCLI (Mesa Court Leadership Institute), and, as you know, am one of the five U/U Zot Bloggers for 2009-2010!
It really does feel strange to be composing my last Zot Blog post. It feel like just yesterday that we five bloggers were attending our first meeting and introducing ourselves to one another. I am very grateful to have met the Zot Bloggers and to have worked under the U/U department to help future and current students learn more about our experiences as first-year college students. I truly hope that our efforts have made a difference, and have done justice to the phenomenal experiences given to us at UC Irvine.
I am currently affiliated with the School of Social Sciences, and my fall courses are: Introduction to International Studies, Anthropology 2A, Mandarin, and I am currently trying to enroll in Social Science 3A. Unfortunately, enrolling for my sophomore year has made me realize the advantages of being a freshman student. Many of the courses are labeled “New Only”, (which is good for you!), so do take advantage of the introduction courses when you can. I will be taking Introduction to Macro Economics and Anthropology 2B over the summer at my local community college (as I have explained before), and these are to help me take care of some of the requirements for the School of Social Sciences.
My first year whizzed by so incredibly fast, and this has made me realize that my time here is very limited. 4 years will fly away in an instant, so my greatest advice is to make your time here worthwhile by being involved in the UCI community. I have realized that I am capable of being a good role model and leader, and part of that realization is the joy I found in knowing that my blog has given many students the resource of having a student-voiced UCI perspective. As to my future plans, I hope to become a campus representative, peer academic advisor, a discussion leader, a student reader for the Social Sciences, a SPOP staffer, and an intern and volunteer, to name a few. These goals may be quite ambitious, but I believe that though I probably will not be able to pursue all of them, there is no harm in trying. Therefore, I encourage you to aim high during your college years and to expand your horizons because there are countless opportunities waiting for you. Indeed, “Shoot for the moon, because even if you fail, you’ll still land among the stars.”
The Zot Blog is a program that is very much open to new ideas, and I highly encourage interested students to apply to be bloggers in the future. I will truly miss this experience, and I hope to remain a contributor to the U/U community, even after my blog has come to a close. Please, do not hesitate to contact me for further questions. I love being a helpful and insightful resource for prospective and current students. I hope you enjoyed getting to know me through my blogs, and I would really love to hear about your future experiences as well. Thank you so much, readers, for making this experience so memorable, and thank you U/U for giving me this priceless opportunity.
Though this is goodbye, it certainly does not mean the end. I leave you with a bit of advice that, I believe, expresses what I have learned from my first year at UC Irvine: When one door closes, another opens. But it is your job to find the next room.
Much love and good luck!
- Faye Cheng
PS — I pass over the responsibility of reciting lame jokes to you. I hope my efforts have put a smile on your face, and even a face-palm reaction is okay too! I hope that my blogs have reflected my goofy and passionate personality, as well as my great desire to bring life into my posts with positive energy and optimism. Though college surely does take a lot of effort and time, I hope that you don’t forget that you need a little fun in your life. Keep smiling, my friends, and happy joke-telling!