Members of The Trailblazer Staff Discuss Their Experiences as New and Returning Students

Noel Lee, Jacob Mitchell, and Olivia P. Tucker

Noel Lee: Adapting to new surroundings

Aug. 20, 2018, was a special day worth remembering. It was my first day of being a college student. I woke up at 7 a.m., had a quick wash up, headed to the dining center to have my breakfast and was ready for classes.

It seemed that I was excited for classes, but I was not at all. I was simply telling myself that it’s about time to bear the responsibility of being a student again.

“Let’s have a good start,” I thought. In my mind, I was still in a certain holiday mood though: I missed the wonderful summer. I wished I could spend more time with friends, go into the woods to join the spirit of nature and travel all the districts in my hometown, Hong Kong, to take millions of photos. However, time flies. It never pauses to wait. Every moment changes and I am now back to the United States. The summer time flew like melting ice and it had already flown to the ending point of the youthhood river.

Stepping into the Humanities Building, everything was new to me even though I had gone there a couple of times. Immediately, I looked at the map of the building hanging on the wall. The classroom number was easy to find on the map, but when it became real, it took a few seconds to determine the actual direction. The hallway was like an obstacle; it was crowded with students who faced the same feeling as me: that feeling of being puzzled about where they should go. Fortunately, I found my classroom and arrived there on time, which I was nervous about the most.

The room was shrouded with awkwardness and embarrassment because the professors and classmates were freshly new to me. I had no idea what to do next, but waited for instructions instead. Even after classes, a sudden feeling of stress and frustration waved to my heart as I got assignments.

It did take time to keep straight in my mind the non-consecutive class schedule. I was a bit confused and lost about the next step; perhaps I did not get prepared enough to receive that much information within a day. I could barely digest it all. All of the pieces in college life made me feel overwhelmed.   

I knew that this frustrated feeling was just temporary. It’s all about taking some time to get used to it, like using a brand new phone. The more you tap the functions and apps, the more familiar you will be and you will understand that things will be alright. Time really flies. The years of going back to school in a young age are ticking away, so make good use of every function and app in your phone before it dies.

Jacob Mitchell: Starting over with a new major

My second year at Vincennes University feels very similar to my very first semester. The subtle anxiety of unfamiliarity and uncertainty, the understanding that every decision you make will affect your future and optimistic goal-setting tactics designed to ensure success. In high school, my goal was to be a radio host and DJ. My radio and television teachers assured me that my unique voice, figurative and literal, can make a positive impact on the world. I was sure that this was my calling in life.

However, when I came to college I discovered that I wouldn’t really be the best broadcaster. Certain aspects of the medium that had infatuated me no longer seemed to interest me, and I thought that I would rather just write the stories instead of reporting them to an audience. To someone outside of the journalism field, it may seem like a subtle change, but to me it’s been a positive change to not worry about my image.

You may have seen me on TV last semester, I was a news anchor for WVUT. I wore an uncomfortable suit every day, I would squint and sweat because of the hot and bright lights of the studio and I would read from a teleprompter without the possibility of revising what I had to say. Thankfully I didn’t have to wear makeup, but the other male broadcasters would be concerned with their foundation, much to my amusement. I was given a great opportunity to get an on-air position in my first year as a broadcasting major, but it was an experience that made me aware of how much I didn’t enjoy being a broadcaster.

I changed my major to journalism shortly before the semester started. I knew that I would basically be starting from scratch, but the challenge and change in pace reinvigorated my thirst for learning. Instead of setting me back, it encouraged me to work harder as a student and learn how to be a better writer every day. While I miss my old professors, I find my new professors to be great role models and excellent teachers.

VU has made me fall in love with learning and provides me with many opportunities to do so.

Even though I totally changed my future’s trajectory, I still find that my unique voice can make a positive impact on the world. No matter what your major is, when you leave you become a member of society. Whatever gift you can provide to the world, don’t take it for granted. Make an impact.


Olivia P. Tucker: Persevering in the final year of college

Packing my bags, leaving from home for Vincennes University this August was a bittersweet emotion that made me feel like I was returning home for the first time in three years since I left Indiana State University. The emotion I feel is also that I can do this, and the finish line in my college career is almost within reach.

I definitely have a different approach when it comes to being a student since starting my college journey five years ago. I also feel that age has played a major role in my career because I’ve matured as a person from my own failures and suffered from the consequences of my choices.

What I mean by failures is that I had a few years when school was a major struggle for me. I wasn’t working on my education to my fullest potential, which in turn held me back and was a major discouragement in my life. I also was in between majors for the longest time and I actually wasn’t able to set goals because of that.

My dad always had a quote that he said to my brother and I as we grew up: “Work for four years and party for the next 40.” Though I know that isn’t true now, it still was a quote that was associated with college and the impact behind why when I had a setback that I felt completely like a failure in not only my eyes, but my family’s as well.

Where there is failure, there is also a success story. I have to say that I have finally found my success. My success really peaked last semester when I used every bit of my ability to prove why I came to VU in the first place: it was to show that I could actually get a degree.

The major challenge will be making it through this semester, for it is the semester that can make or break me.  As a student who has been in college for five years, this school year is my year to show that I have learned from past mistakes that I have made. So as a student, my goal is to finally obtain my degree in journalism to show that all I’ve been through has been worth the hardships I’ve surpassed to get to this moment.