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Every moment is an opportunity

Getting into a college is a huge deal, but surviving is another issue that many do not anticipate. My first two years at the college were a mess. I could not focus on studying for a long enough time; I could not understand course readings; some of my professors hated my writing; my grades were not good. In fact, I never got an A in my courses until the second semester of my second year. However, Dr. Kreuzman, the former dean of Academic Curriculum and Engagement, used to say that The College of Wooster education is not meant to happen only inside of a classroom; the Wooster education is embedded in all aspects of students’ lives at the college.

I had the most challenging Wooster experience, the so-called sophomore slump, during the fall semester of my second year. I a had tough time in Dr. Moledina’s Principle of Economics course, Dr. Bostdorff’s Political Rhetoric course and Dr. Moskowitz’s Policy, Politics and Social Change course. Along with these classes, my extracurricular career in the Psychology Club, Student Government Association (SGA), Educational Policy Committee (EPC), Writing Center and Research Help Desk began all at the same time. All the commitments and the amount of work were beyond what I could handle.

The solutions for my overwhelming experience that Dr. Moledina provided me were a draft check of my problem set and a meeting with Pam Rose, a former director of the Learning Center. I started working on my calendar, knocking on my professors’ doors and communicating with my professors and receiving Writing Center consultations. As my life started becoming much more organized and manageable in this way, I acknowledged one thing: once I have a control over my time, I have a control over a wider array of my experiences at Wooster.

The College of Wooster has 120 student organizations, is open for any opportunity to start a new organization and an entrepreneurial project and offers a variety of ways that students can be involved in different functional aspects of the institution, including the dining hall, libraries and college administration. If you walk around the campus, you are likely to see different events, panel discussions and formal/informal debating scenes. Also, we have staff and faculty members whose doors are always open for any conversation, help and idea pitch. These are all parts of education that students are meant to gain while living in Wooster. All these ideas may sound lame, and you have probably heard of them multiple times. However, what we do with each opportunity stacks up and ultimately becomes our intellectual and empirical assets.

In my experience, the Woostories Initiative that I have developed did not just happen. Although the main ideas were from my summer internship experience, my necessary skills to start it came from my budgeting experience from the Psychology Club; writing and documenting skills came from my course experiences and my public speaking came from my experience of organizing panel discussion during the International Education Week. This project developed to form the cornerstone of my Senior I.S.

During all these processes, I have truly seen that every aspect of my life in Wooster can transform into a valuable asset and contribute to my future in unexpected ways. It is not just about the club, course or event experience; rather, it can be a brief conversation with anybody or something small that you see from your daily routine. The Wooster education offers a system in which we can melt these assets into something tangible. For all that read this article, I would like to recommend being more conscious and mindful of what you do. All that you do may change into something significant and unexpected.

Armel Lee, a Contributing Writer for the Voice, can be reached for comment at  JLee19@wooster.edu.

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