I just finished with my first week of classes here at Stony Brook University. For those of you that don't know, I am attending school in New York through a program called National Student Exchange as part of my Capstone Experience. Since leaving Minnesota and arriving on the 20th, I feel as though I haven't really had time to relax. Moving in, site seeing, classes, homework, and getting used to my surroundings have left me wanting to curl up in my bed and watch my shows on Netflix. I keep telling myself that I need to go out and explore, but it really has been a joy getting some time to myself. I'm taking a passive approach in seeking adventure, and simply letting opportunities come as they may. I know I'll have plenty of weeks to meander around campus (this place is huge!) and go into the city, so I'm taking my sweet time.
The idea of starting a blog came to me while I was working at Samaritan Bethany nursing home in my university town of Rochester, MN. In the 10 short months I've worked there (gaining patient care hours in hopes of one day attending a physician assistant graduate program), I've met so many interesting individuals, each with stories to tell and experiences to share. I've grown so much being around my geriatric residents. No doubt I've spent more time with them then my own grandparents in the last ten years. There are so many instances that I tell myself I need to write down; times that have left me in tears whether I'm laughing or crying. These are memories I want to look back on because they are the experiences I've truly learned from.
However, after being in New York I've realized that the people I encounter in all areas of my life are leaving an imprint on my heart. I've only been here a week and a half and already I've absorbed so much from the places I've seen and the individuals I've been around. Ironically, I decided last winter that upon attending SBU, I would take a full course load of anthropology classes and possibly obtain a minor through the U of M. Anthropology is the study of humanity in all its aspects, times and places. Therefore, it made perfect sense to me to start a blog about people. I hope to apply what I learn in the 14 weeks (now almost 13) that I am here and the experiences I gain, as well as express from my past memories at the nursing home for my own sake of documentation.
With that said, I will start by telling you that Stony Brook is crazy diverse! It makes sense, right? I mean, I'm in freaking New York!! The greatest cultural hub in the world! Still hasn't really sank in yet. Everywhere I go, I hear a dialect I am unfamiliar with due to the school's large number of international students. Upon arriving I met my suite-mate, Harlim from Korea. She apologized several times to my mother and me for her poor English, but it really wasn't that bad. I assured her I'd help her out, but I think she's overwhelmed. I can't imagine going to a country for education where my knowledge of the language is limited. I'm helping her with metaphoric phrases such as "pre-gaming" and "take it easy", so I hope she has fun while learning the young adult American culture, whatever the hell that is.
One of our biggest pitches to prospective students at the University of Minnesota Rochester is that when you come to our school you are not a number, but an individual. Professors will know you by name, and know when you're faking sick to skip class. Here, it's quite the opposite. 24,500 students as told by Wikipedia, and I am indeed a number. As a freshmen, I think I would be overwhelmed and intimidated. But as I enter my senior year, I realize that being a number is not so bad which is why I think I'm so okay with going with the flow and doing my own thing here. Sure I'll go out with my roommates and make an effort to be social, but for now, I'm content in simply "taking it easy".