Before I started at Bucknell University, I used to think I knew enough about college but it turns out I was wrong. My first semester in college was a mix of anxiety, surprise and homesickness, but every moment was also filled with joy.
The first time I stepped on the campus with two of my mentors, Diane Kohler and Miranda Holmes, I was excited! Excited to meet new people and excited to learn and grow as a person. During the international orientation, I made some of my closest friends at school, and it was fun getting to know people who were experiencing college for the first time just like me.
However, this excitement started to diminish as the assignments increased and I missed home. I dealt with my homesickness by getting involved on campus. I joined The TAB which is an online newspaper that operates on different universities. I became a representative for my freshmen hall and was recently elected as one of the strategic planning officers of Bucknell’s Africa Student Association (BASA).
Getting involved helped me meet more students who were or had been where I am, and I got to exercise my communication and leadership skills. I also loved getting to know all my different professors and learning from them. I know that building these connections was the reason my first semester of college was a success!
After my first semester, I spent winter break with the most amazing people - my mentors. I was in Ohio with my mentor Pam Royer days before I flew to California, and I was touched by the love and warmth she showed me. She took me to different places in Ohio including the zoo at a time when it looked really beautiful with all the Christmas decorations and snow.
I also got to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Palo Alto with my mentor Neary Ting and her beautiful family and in San Francisco with Christine Le and her family. Neary introduced me to Star Wars, and I was excited when we went to see it at the movie theater. I had the pleasure of meeting her parents and sisters, tasting their wonderful Cambodian dishes and I won’t even get started on all the Christmas gifts! I went to see plays with Christine, got to meet her family and friends and even attended the SHE-CAN Farmgirl Flowers event with her mom and my lead mentor Miranda Holmes.
Another reason why being in the Bay Area this winter break was a great experience for me was because I got together with other SHE-CAN scholars at the Leadership Summit whom I hadn’t seen for months. I loved learning from the facilitators and scholars during different workshops. I was so inspired by all the women who spoke to us and the whole experience reminded me of my purpose and that I had all these women cheering me on to fulfill it.
Overall, I’ve grown a lot of this past semester and had the most beautiful time this winter break. It was magical spending time with my mentors and being reunited with my SHE-CAN sisters.
Read stories written by our talented scholars and multiple voices across the SHE-CAN network