I ’m majoring in computer science, and I’m minoring in mathematics also. I live in a small town call Jordan Elbridge, it’s a small town about 20 minutes outside of Syracuse. It’s right next to Auburn. My main thing was that in my senior year of high school I knew that I wanted to be a computer science major. That was just something that was in my head. That’s what I wanted, so I looked at all of the schools that were relatively close to my home – not too close, but also not too far away – that had the major. After looking at all of them, I did a couple of visits. I visited here, and I visited RIT and a couple others, and I honestly just really liked this campus. I liked its size, and I liked everything about it. And now that I’ve gotten here, it’s been a really personable experience with my professors, and I’ve liked that. So I thought it was a perfect place to start, because I’d like to continue my education and go get a master’s when I leave here.
All of my professors, not only those in my major, we know each other on a first-name basis. When it comes to orgs and events on campus and stuff, I’m very involved. I’m actually, as a freshman, I’ve already been elected and appointed as director of the programming board. I’m in that. I’m in the International Circle K here. I’m in UC Pride. I’m in Student Senate, and the vice president of the freshman class. I did a lot of stuff this year. I got involved as much as I could.
This place has a lot of energy, that’s for sure. Like Moose-a-palooza just happened, and so many people came out, and had a good time. It was great. And that was just on a four-hour slot on a Saturday. There’s always a lot of energy on campus, and that’s good. I like that. The energy here is mainly the people.
Angel Rivera is the head of the computer science department. Every since I met him in CSC 101, he’s nice. He’s helpful – like if you ever have a problem or a question, you go to his office and he’s very willing to help you work through things. He’s already helped me through stuff that hasn’t even been related to his course. Like, I wanted to go further in my computer science learning, and I said, ‘If I were to come in, could you show me some things that are even more advanced than this?’ And he was like, ‘Yea, sure, just come on in, and I’ll show you.’ He’s a great guy, and I just really enjoy him.
I have a lot more drive than I ever thought I did – for anything, really – and I discovered that here. In high school, I didn’t try or care as hard or as much as I should have. Back then, my grades were like 70s and 80s, and I was like, ‘Yea, I’ll pass, whatever.’ Now that I’ve gotten here, it’s like something inside of me has just gone off. And it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s go. Let’s do this.’ Like, last semester I think I got a 3.84 GPA, and this semester I’m working toward a 4.0. I’ve almost got it; I’m like this close. It’s just like I’m more motivated now than I’ve ever been. And it’s not just in my academic field. It’s everywhere. Even when I go back home. I don’t know what it is. I just want to get stuff done, and I think this place has brought that out in me.
My story started at freshman orientation, when showed up and first got a taste of the friendliness here. All the mentors and everybody were very kind, very helpful in answering all of my questions, and just very enthusiastic about being here in a way that I hadn’t seen before and didn’t see at the other colleges I visited. They had all the sheets of the different orgs on campus, and I just went around and said, ‘Well this interests me,’ and I signed five or six different sheets and after freshman orientation and move-in day I started getting emails from all these clubs and orgs. I started getting involved with all the organizations and started really paying attention to my studies. Through the involvement I had on campus I got to meet a lot of new people, a lot of nice people, and I had a really great time. Everything went really well. My story is not really great yet because I only have one year behind me, but I know that it will be.
If I could give a message to anybody who is coming in, the big thing is to get involved with things that interest you. There are all kinds of clubs and organizations on this campus. Like, the League of Extraordinary Nerds. That sounds like fun, right? There are so many ways to get involved on campus. If there’s one thing I can say to incoming students it’s to find something that you like and just go do it because it’s a great way to meet people, and on this campus you meet one person, and then you meet five more people, and soon you know everyone.
I really like the library. I work there a lot because I’m a tutor for the math and science center. If I had to pick a favorite spot though, it probably wouldn’t be that. It’d probably be the fountain area down in the bottom of the library. That’s my favorite place to just go in and sit down and study. It’s just a nice calm, cool, quiet area.
Stories: Frank Bartkowiak
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