Friday, September 20, 2013

The Beginning of a New Chapter

(Alicia was one of the two students who worked on the Origami and Mathematics project with faculty mentor Dr. Bryan Faulkner during the 2nd annual Freshman Scholars Program in summer 2013.)

by Alicia, Freshman Scholar and Guest Blogger

College is considered one of the most exciting, exhilarating, challenging, and memorable experiences of your entire life. You make new friends, you're in a new environment, and you discover who you are and who you are meant to be in life. As an incoming freshman, I had the privilege to participate in the Freshman Scholars Program held at what is now my school, Ferrum College.

Throughout the duration of the program, I met people who have the same goals as I do while also opening up my mind to accepting different people with different talents, along with their various views and outlooks on life. I had the chance to work with professors who understand who I am. I created a strong bond with them in order to have a better understanding of the curriculum and to gain a higher confidence in myself to get the assigned tasks done.

Dr. Faulkner, my professor, opened up my eyes to many things in the world of mathematics during the two-week program. He also helped me control my anxiety through the construction of origami and through the concentration and patience it takes to create the different shapes. My project demonstrated the unpredictability and uncertainty that lies in certain equations, thus giving me a broader understanding that math doesn't always hold a perfect answer.

Aside from the work on our projects, there were many other activities that Dr. Goff and the other faculty members scheduled for us in order to make our first-time college experience interesting and unforgettable. For example, we participated in many outdoor adventures, such as a low ropes course and a high ropes course.  The low ropes course taught everyone that communication, patience, and critical thinking are the key to success when working as a team. On the other hand, the high ropes course made us utilize what we learned from the low ropes course, which helped everyone make it through the challenging course safely and successfully.

It also intrigued me that the faculty members weren't afraid to take part in our outdoor recreational activities, which created a motivational spree throughout our entire group of scholars to be enthusiastic and willing to push forward through challenges that were at first viewed as "too scary" or "impossible."  This program proved to its participants, including myself, that nothing is impossible as long as you create a support system for yourself through teamwork with friends and your professors; with support, you can have the motivation to keep moving forward no matter the challenge or difficulty.

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