It has been said that sometimes the greatest adventure could
merely start through a simple conversation. The notion I had is that USIU
students were people of class and culture. People who are consciously aware of
the social norms. Some have served as examples to this while some have portrayed
the exact opposite. As I witness, I remind myself of the different backgrounds,
habits and behaviours we have all been exposed to. Moreover, it would not be
fair to class all the students in one category assuming they would all be the
In all classes, the lecturers have managed to demonstrate a
high level of understanding as well as passion to share the acquired knowledge.
The provision of course manuals has enabled the ease of verification of
information, gathering of information and clarification of areas not understood
in the classes. They have also alternative approaches to different topics which
enable me to conceive my own notions and further my understanding of the subject.
Notably, the access of notes online has enabled quick review of the information
passed across during the classes. Information not understood in class can
quickly be reviewed at the end of the day. Similarly, it enables reading ahead
for the class to reduce time spent on revision for exams.
The degree requirement course takes centre-stage as the most
important and interesting class of all. The ability to see the beginning of my
future life is very interesting. It entails a large amount of interaction
between other students during group discussions and general discussions with
the entire class. I continuously learn how to explain events in my day to day
life that I would previously consider normal or inherent. Now there is an
explanation between each behaviour and cognitive process. The enlightenment
enables me to asses how many actions I have done subconsciously and others consciously.
Moreover, it gives me and indicator of what I need to change or magnify in
terms of behaviour.
The elective courses make me feel like they should be part of
the degree requirements. They are well taught, interactive as well where we are
encouraged to relate and think of real life situations where the knowledge would
be used. It increases my awareness of the various processes that take place
throughout the day. Particularly the biochemical processes majority of which I have
no control over. It has enabled me to begin to appreciate the nature of my
internal and external environment, how closely related they are and how they
manage to influence the other all for the sake of survival.
My learning experience at the university has been different
from what I have encountered before. Each course seems to have its basic method
of delivery of information that’s different from the other. The foreign language
classes are very interactive and require quick imagination and association of
words and their given meanings. I particularly enjoy the interaction where I
easily learn how to pronounce certain words and their meaning. It dawns on me
from time to time how big the world is and how many people have existed before
my time. Tracing all back to the very start of time and there was only one
language where man conversed with God, to the time where there are over 6500 languages
present in the world today.
Continuous attempts to improve myself as a person are made
each day. It is a conscious decision which requires strong power of will and determination
to overcome the innate predispositions of human nature. These include, greed, jealousy,
anger and hate.
With my continuous interaction with new people, the desire
to understand them and myself increases. I learn more each day not to react to
but to respond. In the past, my emotions, understanding and experience would
largely dictate how I behave towards a certain comment or thought. It would
take a short time to trigger a reaction. Now, I take a moment to consider what
the other person wanted to communicate or relay. It has thus caused me to be
more tolerant with people and a more agreeable person in general. A great
personality change that continuously requires practise. I do believe it is a
step in the right direction. For the great philosopher Aristotle once said that,
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be
able to entertain a thought and not accept it”.
People have long been known not to reveal their true self.
This is due to numerous reasons such as being hurt in the past, malicious
intent, insecurities, fear or lack of confidence. In contrast there are those
who stay true to themselves. To determine what relationships to undertake and
what vices I will tolerate will require adequate time with these individuals.
Given that the university boasts of diversity, it will give me a platform to
explore, meet and interact with different personalities from different walks of
Regarding meeting and forming relationships with people, I
feel it will take the most time. This is because I hope to make productive and
meaningful relationships. This might be hindered by the fact that people put on
a façade or mask who they really are. However, the prevalence of negative peer
pressure amongst the students will heavily weigh on my interactions with other
students. After numerous warnings and examples of the detrimental effects of
peer pressure, enforcement or abandonment of some traits will occur.
Secondly, the aspect of familiarity with the surrounding and
other people is a necessity. I will be expected to be conversant with the
location of the school amenities for my sake and that of others. Moreover, the
ability to make friends and interact with lecturers and auxiliary staff to aid
me in my learning process. This will require the most invaluable commodity,
time. I will need time to accustom myself and appreciate all these aspects
surrounding the school.
The biggest change in my present life has been to learn to
adapt and work around my school attendance. To survive in the environment,
certain adjustments must be made. One of them, being the time, I wake up in the
morning. Gone are the days of having the sunrise being a mere concept. It is
now a significant part of my day that I am learning to look forward to.
Albert Einstein is quoted to have said “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change”. Under the
inevitable things in life, change ranks highly with the likes of rain and tax. Change
is also closely associated with discomfort and some level of difficulty. Every
human being enjoys a certain environment until either an external or internal
force requires them to abandon what they consider as comfort and attend to what
urgently needs their attention. The person may resist initially but as time
progresses their attitude changes. This statement holds true in my case.
My application to the university was influenced by the
astounding and prodigious members of the USIU community who heavily reflect on
the person I aspire to be. My ambition and intentions to succeed in life take
precedence over the inapt views surrounding the school.
These reputations hold and influence the decision of initial
application and association with the institution. However, the experience
during the application or inquiry phase my waver or sway one’s decision. It is important
to note that the school’s mission is to produce and individual who can contribute
effectively and ethically as a citizen of a changing and increasingly
technological world. This is stated in the outcomes and core values of the
institution which has been present since 1969. In summary, the institution aims
to mould certain individual to be a representative of the university. However,
there are those who go against the grain. This not only reflects on them as
individuals but on the institution as well.
In contrast, some alumni, students and staff of USIU
university hold true to the negative stereotype. They demonstrate underhand and
despicable traits in their fields of expertise and as members of the general
public. Particularly concerning drugs despite the school being a drug, tobacco
and alcohol-free zone. Demonstrations of inconsiderate and entitled behaviour
has been long associated with some affiliates of the institution. Moreover, a
common thought which prevails amongst people is that parents or guardians send
their children to the institution as a final resort.
The first reputation is based on the outstanding alumni, current
students and staff of USIU university. They are regarded as people of integrity
and class. They are known to have an impeccable work ethic associated with
ambition. Similarly, majority of them are associated with community work
projects in attempts to give back to the society they live in. In addition,
they value social interactions and have learnt to respect people from all works
of life enabling them to collaborate with any individual.
The mention of attending or association with the USIU university
is met with two main reactions. Great admiration, respect and excitement or a
very unseemly response. This is supported by the fact that USIU has, is and
will be associated with different kinds of people. To narrow it down, there are
two main kinds of people, good and bad. Both are associated with USIU and has
subsequently produced two parallel reputations.
Prior the two documented weeks, I had preconceived notions
of the school, the members of staff, the students and facilities offered at the
USIU university. Moreover, preceding my application to the school, I heard of
numerous variant views concerning the school, its students and the general
experience surrounding the institution.
This essay is a compilation of thoughts, expectations,
perceptions, feelings and opinions I have experienced during the first few
weeks as a freshman in the USIU university. It is largely based on current
journal entries within a two-week period. It will effectively explain:
significant changes taking place in my life, my reaction to the various
courses, the impression of fellow students and the university environment, the
sociocultural and learning experience and the difficulties I have experienced.