July 8th, 2019
Bahamas Public School Scholar Recipient 2018
Monroe College Sophomore
‘The first snow is like the first love”– LARA BIYUTS
Honestly, I could not even imagine of the day where I would visit New York or even be able to see snow. However, after hard work, strong faith and preparation, I can finally say that I was able to experience those unimaginable events. These events started when became a Bahamas Public School Scholar and I enrolled in Monroe college for the Fall 2018 semester. I came here to successfully
pursue a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management.
This was my first time away from home without family and friends and not to mention the fact that I was in an extremely cold place. I was often scared, due to the fact that I was all alone. As time went by, I made friends and the temperatures started to decrease drastically.
It was like love at first sight as I had seen for the first-time snow in the forecast, it was quite unbelievable at first. However, after reality had checked in, my spirit lit up to the fullest and was filled with anticipation as my First Snow Day was nigh. Everything around me was happening so fast, it finally came the day I was long awaiting, the temperature got lower and slowly the little delicate snowflakes began to fall. Immediately I ran outside in excitement like a kid in a candy store as I was thrilled to touch the snow and play in it. It was like magic as I watched the snowflakes drop from the sky one by one. However, the wind began to intensify, and my excitement slowly departed as I had to go inside, my heart was saddened. My First Snow day also became my first snow storm. As I sat in my room by the window, I watch the little delicate snowflakes cluster together and whirled and tossed in heavy wind. As some of the snowflakes stuck to my window, I was in awe due to the fact that they are very beautiful up-close. Those small bits of precipitation were crafted to perfection by God. After one (1) hour and a half the storm started to ease up. I wasted no time, immediately I went back outside with my roommates and a few of our friends and we had a massive snow ball fight.
February 22nd, 2019
I would like to start by telling you the story of the first official hour of my university experience. I got into my dorm, signed my lease, sorted my room and mommy left so I could begin to meet new people. I heard talking in the hallway and quietly stuck my head out my door to see what was happening. Little did I realize, the door closed behind me as I stepped into the hallway. I managed to lock myself out of my room within the first 5 minutes. I was in my socks, with no shoes on, didn’t know anyone, and had no roommate yet to let me back in. I was forced to ride the elevator from the 11th floor, with everyone looking at me like I was a little crazy for being barefooted. It wasn’t exactly the first impression I had hoped for. Now, I can laugh about it, but at the time, it felt like my world was ending. What a day and what a year.
I still get flashbacks of the way the cold burned my face walking to class in the middle of February, when it was minus 20 degrees outside and I had on what felt like 30 layers of clothing. And how it was still snowing on April 19th while I was walking to my Calculus 2 final. It was times like these that I missed the Bahamas the most. However, I also smile when I think about the day my friends and I went for an impromptu walk at 10 pm during Spring break just to find something to do, and ended up riding a Ferris wheel in the snow, eating frozen maple candy.
This past year was a life changing one. From the snow and ice, to the food, to the languages and cultures, everything was eye-opening. Sometimes it was terrifying and other times enlightening. I left the Bahamas, waiting to board a plane to Montreal with my face on the front page of The Tribune as the All Bahamas Merit Scholar. I then landed in a city with millions of people from all over the world, nobody knowing or caring who this little Bahamian girl was. I went from being a big fish, in a pond, that I never considered as tiny, to an ocean filled with possibilities. Because this year for me, was full of possibilities, things to learn, do, experience, the chance to grow as a person.
November 16th, 2018
And So It Begins –
Let me make this clear – I’ve come to college with a mission. My mission is to conquer, to maintain an excellent GPA, to become a leader on campus, to study abroad, to participate in research, and to get internships. Therefore, during my first week of college, I was everywhere, doing everything (that wouldn’t make me lose my scholarship of course).
I hit the ground running at orientation. The week was called, “Mustangs Roundup” and after getting all of the formalities like getting books and registering for classes out of the way, I let my competitive spirit run wild. In the midst of all the workshops and giveaways, which I so gladly took advantage of, there was a week-long, campus-wide scavenger hunt with a list of over 100 items to take pictures with. So, yes – my phone was filled with many selfies. Yes – I learned every corner of the campus. Yes – my feet were tired. Nonetheless, I must inform you that I won… absolutely nothing – from the scavenger hunt at least. I won an Amazon Fire Stick in a raffle to use on a television I don’t have. Still, it was a great orientation, but I had to go to class at some point. Read More…
November 16th, 2018
Angel Culmer 2018 National Merit Recipient
The University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Major: Animal Biology
My experiences at The University of Guelph so far, have been unlike any others that I have encountered. Beginning with the first week of school, my days usually consisted of attending general meetings about adjusting to the university lifestyle and trying to locate all of my classes before I had them. As the weeks progressed however, my classes finally commenced and each course load, despite not being heavy, was difficult to keep up with. I refused to let this feeling progress however, so the following days after the commencement of my classes consisted of me attending Student-Led Study groups, to review material that may have baffled me during lectures. This decision has played a pivotal role in my adjustment process, and is one that I can never regret as it has established in me a better understanding of all of my courses. Read More…