Hello, my name is Alan, a freshman at the University of Washington and a former graduate student from Shanghai Nanyang Model Private High School. I intend to major in Political Science and Journalism. This is my fourth time writing for CINEC newsletter, and of course, the first time as an alumnus. I hope the school is going well for everyone, and I am very excited even thinking about visiting all of you during Christmas break.
Located at the Northwest coast of the United States, my school, the University of Washington, stands in the sleepless city of Seattle. Beyond the fact that UW is one of the most reputable and competitive educational institutions in the world, it is a large community composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Sometimes I wish life as a UW student could be as easy and as enjoyable as the one in my WeChat posts, but with countless deadlines of papers and assignments, the pursuit of happiness slowly diminishes throughout the quarter.
UW has designed tons of extracurricular activities to make students feel like they belong for instance, every dorm as well as every single floor of the dorms have weekly events for students who want to de-stress, or simply want to make new friends. But personally, I enjoy joining club activities the most. I am currently involved in three SROs (Student Registered Organizations): Outdoor Recreation Club, the Student Senate, and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. All of these organizations introduce me to a larger community, letting me know that my voice matters.
However, academics are always more important. Now I am taking three classes: Intro to Political Theory, Intro to Communication, and Literature Composition. It seemed easy at first, since I took way more classes back in high school, but the amount of effort required is more than ever. My professors are award-winning experts who have been teaching and publishing over 30 years. Different from stereotypical images of professors that people tend to have – old scholars who care more about their own academic research – professors here in general value their lectures and really care about their students, just like all BC teachers do. Besides lectures, quiz sections are also designed for students to help them learn better. Don’t be deceived by its name, quiz sections are not always for quizzes, they are in fact small classes arranged by a Teaching Assistant, usually a graduate student, whose job is to answer questions students have about the lecture. My TAs know me very well, and they really help build up my knowledge for my courses.
Perhaps you are still curious and confused when you are reading this, but it’s okay. You won’t know what university experience in America is like until you are a part of it. Best luck on your endless exams, and hopefully one day I wish to see some of you here in Seattle.