Say Hello to the 2013/14 Student Ambassadors!

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WCC’s 2013/14 Student Ambassadors will be writing regularly on this blog about their experiences on campus, in the classroom and beyond. They also welcome your comments and questions–whether you want to know how to get started as a WCC student or what to do once you’re here. You’ll also find them helping out with New Student Orientation or leading campus tours.ambassadors edited

That Ambassador Life

Hey everyone!

So you may have seen all the cool signs around campus, or heard us talk about it in one of our orientations, but we are in the process of interviewing for our new Student Ambassadors for the 2014-2015 season! A lot of people wonder what it is that we do here, and I thought that there would be no better way for me to explain it to you all than to make it into a blog post. So, read on!

As student ambassadors, we assist in the orientation department here on campus. (Basically, the coolest department. Need I say more?) Our job is to help out in orientation sessions, and take interested students on optional short tours at the end of each orientation. We also help out on high school visits! During the year, various high schools come to WCC with (usually) their junior or senior class, just to check out the school. We help out with those, along with offering a full campus tour at the end of their visit. It’s a lot of fun! (Christmas and I will actually be working a high school visit next Thursday!)

While we’re not leading tours or working orientations, we do a lot of data entry in our fancy Batcave, also known as the back room. We also keep a blog (but you knew that, since you’re reading this), a Facebook page, an Instagram, and even a Youtube page!

Various times throughout the year, we also help out other departments here on campus. During the week before fall semester, we hang out on the second floor of the Student Center, and help people out who are looking for their classes, or answering any questions anyone has. Later on in the year, during the first week of winter semester, we help out Student Activities with their information tables! It’s a lot of fun.

So that’s a little bit about what we do here at WCC. Truthfully, I’ve never worked with a more fantastic group of people, and I’m so glad that I have the chance to work with them and meet all of you. I love this job. :)

Until next time,

Gabby

The Seven Things I Learned from Being a Kid

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have been reminiscing on my childhood a lot lately. Perhaps the fact that I am no longer a teenager and am almost in my third year of college is finally sinking in. Regardless, the fact that I am growing up is inevitable and it seems that once you are of age you tend to lose your inner child. Well I say that’s bogus! While my childhood wasn’t exactly the greatest time of my life, I definitely think there are some qualities to being a kid that one should never lose.

If I could physically go back, I might actually consider it. Unfortunately though, I’m stuck here solely with my inner child and the memories. So instead I’ll reminisce and remind everyone why being a kid can actually be AWESOME and list all the beautiful little lessons I learned along the way that still help me now in my adult life.

1.Getting dirt underneath your fingernails to build a muddy sandcastle is totally okay. 

In the “adult world” it’s not commonplace to play in the dirt. Let me tell you though, you are most definitely the odd one out in a kid’s eyes if you don’t come in from the backyard covered in mud. In the end, it’s worth it too because you make a beautiful masterpiece for the world (or your parents) to see :P So yes, it’s okay to get your hands dirty sometimes.

images2. You will fall,scrape your knees, and possibly knock over your parents’ pot of flowers when learning to ride your bike for the first time.

Yeah, it’s happened. If anyone was wondering what happened to the flower pot it’s long gone: rest in peace oh valiant protector of the precious Pansies! As adults I think we often forget these moments of failure when we were younger. We forget how many times we fell and got back up only to fall again. It happens. You’re not always going to succeed the first time you start something new. So just remember to keep that mentality of a kid learning to ride a bike for the first time; each time you fall, get right back up, scraped knees and all.

3. Reading is fun.

girl_reading400-15v1qaeNo really, it is. As a child I was shy, so I never had many friends. I often spent my days reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I even remember a specific time when my grandmother brought down a random medical terminology book that I ended up spending hours trying to decipher. I had fun though, and it occupied my mind. No, I’m not trying to say that everyone should spend their free time reading medical terminology books, but I do think reading can teach you a lot in the long run.

4. Talk to Strangers. It’s okay.

Okay so my parents spent a large majority of my childhood telling me to not talk to strangers, but that was for my own protection against the real dangers in the world. Talking to some random person you meet in class or telling the cashier at a coffee shop that you like her dip dyed hair isn’t going to hurt. Of course, you always proceed on the side of caution and use your best judgement when meeting new people, but that doesn’t mean you deny yourself the joys of conversation. Imagine how great our world would be if everyone was eager to give others just a simple smile or hello like kids often do!

5. Naps are sometimes necessary, even if unwanted.

I hated them as a kid and I still hate to take them now because it takes time away from my day, but sometimes you just need a little bit of extra sleep!

6. Wear what makes you feel comfortable.

I look back on my childhood now and am embarrassed to admit some of the things I wore. I swear I NEVER matched…haha. It’s what I wanted to put on though, and it made me feel confident. I think as you age you become more conscious of the pressures to dress a certain way. For awhile I didn’t dress to make myself feel good, but merely to fit in to society’s standards. Don’t do that. For example, If I’m going out and everyone else is wearing heels but I have these adorable flats that are begging to be worn, I’m going to wear them. In my opinion, it’s more important to feel good about yourself than to please other people.

7. You cannot do everything on your own.

This was probably the hardest lesson for me to learn growing up. I was Miss Independent, I didn’t want my parents to help me make my meals, do my hair, or help with my homework. I remember the days that I would dream of being a “grown up” and doing everything on my own. I guess I didn’t realize that even grown-ups need help sometimes too. While I am a fully capable human being, I need the support and assistance of my loved ones among others as well. I’d like to think that we should all help each other out, no matter the relation to the other individual. It’s just a kind thing to do, and I know that I certainly cannot do everything by myself so I appreciate when others willingly assist me!

So if you haven’t already today get out there and talk to a stranger, play in the mud, don’t worry about what others think, be a kid! :P

Hasta Luego!

Alyssa :)

The Dog in the Night-time

CuriousincidentofdoginnighttimeI’ve never been a bookworm, not even close to a bookworm at that. I’ve always loved to play video games and watch TV; I’m sure that I’m not the only person who is like that. But every once in a while I make the plunge into literature. This time, like most other times, it was for business not pleasure. As I’m sure we’re all aware this is college, and reading and expanding your consciousness is the name of the game here. Little did I know that even though the novel was assigned reading, I would go onto a voluntarily reading binge, finishing almost the whole book in a single evening.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a novel by Mark Haddon that is a fantastic example of all of the things fine literature has to offer. The story is told in first person and follows the life of an autistic young man named Christopher. The beginning of the novel starts off with Christopher finding his neighbor’s dog dead in her lawn and it inspires Christopher to get to the bottom of this mystery. I can’t say much else without adding a spoiler alert, but this mystery leads him to an even larger and more daunting mystery. Aside from the story, the novel has so much else to offer.

Since the book is written as a first-person monologue, we see directly inside Christopher’s incredible mind. It provides so much insight into what it means exactly to have Autism. To not want to touch, or have emotions, etc. It really shows you what it’s like to put on their shoes. It really reminds you that we are all human, and we should all be accepted for the way we are. Just because someone else handles things differently doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Christopher doesn’t fit in anywhere and isn’t given much credit, but no one knows how truly capable he is of accomplishing great things.

The last and possibly the most important part of this novel is how Christopher’s mind can see the world in a way we never could. He sees everything from a strictly logical standpoint. He doesn’t get wrapped up in emotions because he doesn’t understand them. This unique vantage point gives him the opportunity to make some very profound observations on social interaction and the human spirit. This book is more than you would ever imagine it to be. From one guy that doesn’t like reading to the next; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is worth your time. Give it a read.

4 stars out of 4

Distractions: Valentine’s Day

Hi there, everyone!

As a history/humanities major, one of the fun things that I get to do is dig up all this fun information on things that most people don’t really pay that much attention to. And today, that “thing” is Valentine’s Day! Yep, that holiday with all the hearts, chocolate, and big teddy bears that’s coming up on Friday.

As you might know already, Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, who may have lived in the third century in Rome. His personal history is shrouded in mystery, with all sorts of different stories about him floating around. The one I like the best is this one: During the third century, Valentine was serving as a priest when emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than married men (who had wives and families at home); therfore, he outlawed marriage for young men. The story goes that Valentine saw this as a great injustice and continued to perform marriages for young couples. Eventually, he was found out and killed, but the story lives on. I thought that was really sweet!

From then on, February was seen as a month of romance, till the specific day of February 14th began to be popularly celebrated in Great Britain during the 17th century. During the 18th century, it became common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection, or valentines. BOOM. Mini History lesson!

So, whatever you choose to do on Friday, make sure it’s filled with love! If you have a significant other, make sure that they know how special you think they are. If you’re going on a date, turn the classy up! If you’re flying solo, be extra nice to the people around you. Friday is a day of love! Make the most of it! :)

Till next time!

Gabby

What I Didn’t Know About Transferring

Hey ya’ll!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Winter break! For the most part, I enjoyed mine but I must say that even over break I found I was very busy. Not only did I spend my month long vacation visiting with family and friends, but I also spent a great deal of time preparing my application to transfer over to a 4 year institution. As many of you may know I plan to transfer from WCC after this Winter semester to the University of Michigan. I thought that the process would be frightening and strenuous, but in reality the application process itself was not as difficult as it was time consuming, and now that I look back I wish I would have started it about a month earlier.

In order to better prepare all of you out there that are considering transferring in the future, I have compiled a few lists to help paint a better picture of the transferring process. The first part of the list you will find is regarding  some of the details of the application. I won’t go over every last detail, but instead just talk about a few things that I found important to mention. Keep in mind that I am creating this list in regards to my experience when applying to the University of Michigan, so if you are applying elsewhere the process could vary :).

The Common App-What’s on it?

  • The Common App asks you personal information regarding the following  categories: Profile (your personal information such as your name,address and contact details), Family, Education, Testing, Activities, and Writing (where you provide a 250-650 essay).
  • One part of the app that I personally struggled with was the “Family” section. In this section you are asked questions regarding your parents and siblings and their education levels and jobs. Sometimes it can be difficult to recall all these details about every single member of your family.
  • The “Activities” section allows you to showcase the type of person you are outside of class. These activities can include participation in clubs, volunteer work, or even job related positions,just to name a few. You are allowed to list up to ten.
  • The Common App for transfers only requires one essay under the “Writing” section. They will ask you to write about why you want to transfer, but keep in mind that you need to keep this essay general because the Common App can be used to apply to multiple colleges, and you wouldn’t want to write an essay pertaining to only one college if you were applying to many!
  • After you complete all the questions to each of the 6 sections on the Common App, there will be more specific questions to follow under the header “Member Questions”. Some of the questions ask your preferred start term, if you wish to live on campus or not, the specific college you are applying to such as the college of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the Univeristy of Michigan, etc.
  • After all of those lovely questions you will next fill out a section under “Assign Recommenders”. It will ask you about the FERPA Release Authorization. Read this carefully. I won’t go into detail about what FERPA is because it is explained on the app, but I will advise to spend some time considering what you want to do regarding this authorization, because once you proceed with a plan you cannot change your mind!
  • You will be asked to invite a Registrar to fill out the registrar report for you. For this part, you will need to print out the offline form, as WCC does not do this portion electronically.
  • You need at LEAST one recommender.
  • You will have two additional essays to write for the University of Michigan. For these two essays you do not have to keep things general, as you are writing them in regards to a specific school.

As you can see the list I just provided was rather extensive. Although it seems like a lot to do, it will go pretty smoothly if you prepare yourself properly. In part two of my blog I will release a shorter and more condensed list of some helpful things to keep in mind when you apply. Hopefully after reading both of my lists you will feel a little more at ease with what is expected of you as well as more comfortable with the entire process itself!

Until Next Time,

Alyssa :D

What I Didn’t Know About Transferring

Part 2 continued…

As promised I have compiled a more condensed list of useful tips to keep in mind when you are transferring! As I stated before, this list is complied in regards to the U of M application process, so keep that in mind. I hope you find this list useful!

  • Official ACT/SAT scores must still be sent even for transfer students at U of M. You can order your scores through actstudent.org.
  • Official high school transcripts are required at U of M as well. You can send these through your high school administration office.
  • Your official WCC transcripts can be sent to U of M directly from WCC at Student Connections or you can order them online.
  • The Registrar Report needs to be printed and filled out in person. You can go to Student Connections for this after you print it.
  • Checking with your family to make sure the information you fill out about them in the “Family” section on the app is correct might be helpful.
  • Try not to wait until the last minute to complete your essays. You want to showcase your best work, so taking some time to perfect your ideas might be advisable. Also, if you can, have someone look over your writing to check for any errors that you might not have caught.
  • For a transfer student, “Recommenders” can only be an instructor or adviser. You only need one, but up to four are allowed. If you have no idea who to ask to be a recommender, start asking your professors now and perhaps even ask more than one just to be on the safe side.
  • Send duplicate copies of everything you send in the mail. Yes, I am sure it can seem a tad bit overboard , but there is always the potential of your mail getting lost.
  • There is an application fee to submit your application. My fee was $75, so try to plan in advance and have the money saved by the time you do submit your app!
  • Smile. A lot. :P It’s hard to tell someone not to stress so much about such a big stepping stone in life, but at the very least take a step back to look at how far you have already gotten- you can do it!!!!

-Alyssa :D

Transferring: The Story of How I’m Spending my Weekends

Hey there, everyone!

So, most of you that know me, or who I’ve introduced myself to in orientation, know that I’m planning on transferring out of WCC and into a 4-year university after this current winter semester. My hope is to attend the University of Michigan in the fall, and finish with my bachelors degree there!

With all of that being said, I’ve been working on my application to transfer for a while now. And you know what? It isn’t bad or painful at all. Sure, you have to write a couple of essays, but in the end, if you end up being accepted by the school that you want, it’s so worth it. I’ve had to write three so far, and it’s been quick and easy. :)

Part of the U of M application is through the Common App, which is an online app that many different universities use in at least part of their application process. It’s full of basic information about yourself, your ACT/SAT scores, stuff about your family, and an essay at the very end. Not very hard at all!

So, my point is this. If you’re planning on transferring to a different school after WCC, don’t worry! Transferring (so far) is definitely NOT as hard as it sounds! No need to be stressed about it.

Alright, I’m going to head off and finish this application! Best of luck to everyone this winter semester! Work hard, and have fun. :)

Gabby