SHE-CAN: Can you describe how you felt waking up on your first day of school? Anxious, excited, nervous?
Aidy: I was so excited, and I had such mixed feelings on that day. It marked the beginning of my journey as a Lafayette student. I thought of when my mentors had sent me off to school and how it was very hard to say goodbye. I cannot believe I’ll be using English as the means of my daily communication and academic purposes. I wondered how it feels to have classmates whose cultures are different from mine. I was curious about what the classrooms are like and how lectures are conducted. Filled with both anxiety and excitement, I walked out of my dorm with a bunch of questions in my head!
SHE-CAN: Which classes do you think you're going to like the most and why?
Aidy: I think I’ll find FYS very interesting because it’s about solving social problems using quantitative literacy. I get to know more about how things work in the society by reading and using a variety of activities. I also find this class challenging since it requires a lot of reading and writing. Also, I’m looking forward to my Chemistry class because I’ve never done work in a lab before!
SHE-CAN: What was your favorite memory from your first day?
Aidy: I remember my FYS professor asked me where I am from. He was surprised to learn that I’m from Cambodia, and he asked me what it’s like in Cambodia compared to the States. I felt so happy telling people about my country. It helps me take a step back and appreciate my culture and origin and how people here, in the United States, value diversity.
I’m the only Cambodian freshman at Lafayette, and the second Cambodian student on campus. The first student is Phalkun, my SHE-CAN sister, who is also a scholar (Class of 2020). I know that I’d never be here at Lafayette without the support from the SHE-CAN staff and my mentors. I cannot wait to have more and more Cambodian scholars entering Lafayette, and I'm excited for when we’re back home in our country making it a better place.
SHE-CAN: How are the dorms? Are you enjoying that experience?
Aidy: My roommates are very nice. We have diversity in the room. My roommates are Turkish, American and Chinese American. We went to yoga and Zumba together. We also went to a farmers market together.
AIdy: I went to yoga and was surprised that my Calculus professor was also there. He does yoga regularly, and I’m about to take this up as my habit. Also, I went to a mingling event that featured professors, and the Head of the Civil and Environmental Department, who are all engineers. We got to ask them questions, and they talked about all of the opportunities that people who study engineering can have here at Lafayette.
SHE-CAN: With one week of college under your belt, what do you think will be some of the most challenging aspects moving forward?
Aidy: Balancing my academic life and other activities would be my primary concern. I anticipate a tighter schedule in my sophomore year than this year because I'll be taking more credits, while I'm also considering joining clubs and having a job on campus. At the same time, I’m so excited to explore many things and get to know more people on and off campus. I’m so happy that I get to grow as a person at Lafayette and get a chance to take advantage of all this college has to offer!
Aidy: Lafayette College is a beautiful campus with its old-fashioned and modern buildings. I love the people at Lafayette for they make the campus appealing and lively. Professors and staff here are very approachable and willing to help. I feel safe knowing that I can always ask for help and support from anyone.