On the last night of my summer vacation, I stood in my driveway with the trunk and all the doors of my car wide open. As I managed to shove the last unnecessary pillow into the passenger side door, my mom stepped out to see my progress in packing for my second year at Niagara University. She said, “Wow! You managed to fit everything into just one car?”
I said to her, “Mom, if I have learned anything at NU, it’s how to pack for school!”
Fortunately, Niagara taught me much more during my first year of college than how to efficiently pack a car. Now that I have freshman year under my belt, I’m ecstatic to be back on campus and ready to take on this new school year.
Freshman year taught me that getting my assignments done is not impossible. Believe me, I know that on a late Sunday night, it’s intimidating to look at all six syllabi from your classes and wonder how on earth one can possibly complete three different written assignments, which must be 4-5 pages long, no more or no less, two take-home quizzes, a group project, and read seven chapters, all while still being sociable at the end of the week.
But somehow everything manages to get done, and done well. This year, I’m so much more relaxed when it comes to my schoolwork because I have faith in myself that I can accomplish any assignment, as long as I put forth the effort it will take to get it done.
I’ve also realized in my past year here that I’m not just going to college to receive a diploma. Rather, I’m here because becoming knowledgeable in my field of study is going to support me in providing the best possible education for all of my future students.
Niagara University is preparing me to be the best teacher I can possibly be. This isn’t because I will have worked on more assignments compared to other schools, or because I will have spent more time in classrooms. It’s because I have professors who have inspired me to become an advocate for students themselves and for the value of rich and meaningful K-12 education programs. I don’t believe I could have been more blessed than to have the professors that I’ve had, and currently have, this semester.
At the end of my undergraduate career, Niagara University will have provided me with so much more than a diploma. Sure, that piece of paper will give me much credit for the amount of work I will have accomplished throughout my first four years of schooling, but what that diploma won’t state is the ways in which Niagara has helped me find my true purpose in life. To help and to educate those less fortunate than me is what I have taken away from my freshman year, and with each year to come, I hope to take away even more from my experiences and the community at NU.