My college experience

I was born in Madras India, and moved over to the United States when I was two years old. I grew up in Liverpool NY, and loved being active. Soccer was my main sport and love. Then in 7th grade, I tried modified track and field. It was at my first invitational that I discovered a love for running and a love for winning. I knew from there that I wanted to coach, teach others about athletics and develop my own talent. With a successful high school career, I had the privilege to run at SUNY Cortland. In the fall of 2011, I started my adventure.
With the spring of 2015 around the corner, I have been studying as a physical education major, with a concentration in adaptive physical education. For a masters, I am working on it, in health education. I have really enjoyed my studies and I am looking forward to graduation. I hope to someday, work in an orphanage overseas, and teach health classes to adults at night in a clinic.
My biggest passion in life is to inspire others. In every moment of life there is an opportunity to learn. From the outside I look like your average college student. Attending classes, doing sports, and playing music. In the last 21 years of life, I have had to overcome many obstacles. I was born with an auditory processing disorder. In other words I hear the world differently. I use my eyes to pick up sight, sounds, and emotions. It’s a different way of learning, which brings a new perspective. Through this experience I hope to share with others, my life and who I am as Hannah.

Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten, high school or college, it’s the same aroma. The idea of a new beginning. Each person comes from a different background. Their foundation that has rooted them, up until this point. Every day is a stepping stone that is leading to college. College is a different playing field than before. The older one gets, more is expected of them. Your background makes you who you are. Now I’m not saying that you don’t change. Everyone does! New interests, hobbies and friendships develop. What we loved as children and teenagers does not have to change. Instead it can expand and grow within the experiences that college has to offer.
Let me expand. Within the first couple of weeks your college email address, mailbox and phone may get blown up with lots of information flyers. This could include religious clubs, sports, music, clubs within your major etc. At first it can be intimidating, which is totally understandable! The college is interested in having the student body be involved in their clubs. Absorb what is being given to you. Take the time to reflect and to think, “what interests me?” What did I like doing in high school? Was it student council, sports, art, volunteering? Whatever it is, there will be an avenue for you.
The first step to take is get out of the dorm room or your house if you are a commuter. Learn about a club or sport, and attend that first interest meeting. This is designed to give information to the students. It’s nothing set in stone. It allows the people who are leading the club to get to know you and to see that you are interested in their club. It is OKAY to go and not come back. One might have a thought of “this is not for me”. In most clubs, they allow people to join throughout the semester. With sport clubs it’s a little different because there might be a tryout process. It varies per campus and sport. Outside of the campus walls, there is a whole other world. Each campus has a community. Some are located near a suburb, farmland, or city. Take advantage of the community surrounding the college. Every community has something to offer. There are places to volunteer like the local youth programs, churches, sports complexes, opportunities to work. Many colleges have shuttle buses that can transport you to the local areas.

Being a senior now, in a way, I’ve been there and done it all. Coming into college, I thought my life was going to be mainly sports and school. I knew coming in that I was already on the varsity track and field team. That was my main priority coming into school, because I had signed early decision. I learned early on that being just an athlete was not for me. I grew up taking ten years of private lessons for saxophone, went to youth group and loved working with children. With those components missing, I felt like a piece of me was lost. I learned about a Christian group on campus that I started to attend weekly, I auditioned for a saxophone quartet, and became a youth leader at my local church. Slowly adding each piece back into my life, I saw a familiar picture, the real, passionate spunky Hannah. In high school I was always a multi tasker, never doing just one thing. I loved my different friend circles. It created diversity and connections. Doing this in college allowed me to create a familiar sense of home away from home. We all know our styles: some like to be heavily involved, some like to only be in one club. It is a matter of your preference.
College is all about an experience and a journey. It can be whatever you decide to shape it to be. It’s almost as if you are an artist with a clean canvas. You can begin to add to your painting. The tools one may use, can change over time. The painting might start off as simple, and blossom into something more complex. The beauty of college is that the art that is produced is from yourself. Being involved gives a sense of belonging to the college and to your class.

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