Hello! My name is Jasmine and I’m part of the Class of 2019. I am on the pre-med track and potentially majoring in biochemistry while minoring in clinical psychology and clustering in Spanish language. I’m from Seattle, Washington and have visited the West Coast states as well as Taiwan multiple times (coming to Rochester was my first time on the East Coast!). On campus, I am involved on the EBoard for Students Helping Honduras as well as CDrew Pre-Health Society and I love all the community outreach events and activities we get to participate in! Likewise, I currently work as a research assistant in a blood stem-cell lab at the Medical Center so I get to experience and work on a bunch of cool experiments!
Outside of school, I work as a LEAP tutor and classroom assistant for the Rochester community in which I help teach and strengthen the academic foundation of students. Reaching out to schools really makes an impact when we can help cultivate interest and motivation for these students to keep on striving for their goals. In my free time, I love to do arts and crafts, play my violin, dance (I get to dance in one of our own premier dance groups: RICE Crew), hang out with friends as well as go on camping trips!
The first few days of Pre-College Programs flew by so quickly because we were all having so much fun learning and getting to know each other. Follow me as I recount what happened during our first week!
Move-In Day! After all the hard work dedicated to program planning, hall decorating and learning about how to interact with our program’s students, we were more than ready to meet the students themselves. Even though the first set of students who arrived and moved into Hoeing Hall was a smaller group, the Pre-College Counselors (PCCs) were all extremely enthusiastic and excited about getting to know each and every one of the residents and learning more about their individual interests.
Of course, living in a dorm with people whom you are unfamiliar with can be intimidating and uncomfortable at first. Especially for students traveling from foreign countries, they may feel unaccustomed to the culture and customs that seem like second nature to us. However, to ease the transition, we started the first night off with a bunch of icebreakers and general group activities. I could see the delight on our Pre-College students’ faces as we all laughed together while playing the game “Heads Up” and chattered about the college courses they will be attending in the upcoming weeks.
Today, our entire group of students and PCCs gathered in the Hoeing 2 lounge to participate in a game night and movie night after a successful first day of classes. Apart from eating our meals with our students, counselors have the opportunity to tag along with students and ask them how their classes went and what they’re planning to do in the evening. Even after sitting in a three-hour class, one student attending a Taste of College course gushed at how interesting and engaging her first day of her Abnormal Psychology class was. She cannot wait to go back and learn more! She thinks that being able to attend a college course and sit in with college students is a valuable experience.
After a long and hard day of classes, students were excited and hungry to visit our very own College Town and check out the stores and restaurants there. Since some of the students had classes that ended a bit later such as the Computer Science labs, we escorted the first group of students by taking the University’s convenient shuttle bus and stopped by at a wide variety of stores to allow the students to explore and buy whatever they needed. It was a great experience getting to walk with the students and show them our favorite spots to eat. My personal favorite is Yotality, the frozen yogurt and creamery shop located readily next to Starbucks. They even now offer a free rewards card to let you earn points each time you stop by to scoop some frozen yogurt!
One cool thing that I definitely learned from tonight’s outing was what the students thought about the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore. They seemed pretty interested in the different assortments of book genres, especially the students from other countries who wanted to practice reading in a different language. One student expressed his surprise when he saw that there were coloring books for the Harry Potter series!
With a break from the 90-degree weather here in Rochester, the students enjoyed an evening out on the Eastman Quad to bond and play different sports games. We had a blast catching Frisbees, playing soccer, and teaching each other the rules for each game. It was a rewarding experience to see the students have lots of fun and to see the PCCs bond with the students as well as among themselves. The fun and excitement continued as we headed back to home base, Hoeing 2 Lounge, to allow our creative juices to flow as we participated in Do-It-Yourself Dorm Decor and decorated our new dorm rooms.
Thursday & Friday:
Thursday is the last day of classes for this week. Many students took their first college exams today, so they were ready for a well-needed break. College Town must have had a big impact on the students because they were all eager and enthusiastic to walk there again this evening as part of their nighttime activities. A bunch of PCCs were also excited to tag along and snag some food from Chipotle, Moe’s, Tim Hortons and of course, Starbucks. In the end, we all settled down at the tables of Barnes and Nobles and chatted. Being able to see students feel comfortable around us and each other is a fulfilling experience as we strive to create the community that encourages openness and acceptance. I would say that our mission was accomplished!
On Friday, students had their first day off and we took an afternoon walk to the campus’s volleyball pits to play Kan Jam, volleyball, soccer, and four-square as well as make banana boats! I did not know what banana boats were until one of the students successfully made one out of a roasted banana filled with marshmallows, warm, melted chocolate, and peanut butter. Yum-yum!
For those who have not been to the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, you will be surprised at how different this museum is compared to other museums that you normally think of or have visited. Filled with exhibits, crafts, games and interactive activities, I had the chance to play games that I never played before, relive parts of my childhood and even learn a bit about the history of electronic games!