On the 20th of August, after 24 hours of flight to reach the JFK airport and a five-hour drive to reach Williamsport, I arrived at Lycoming for the first time.
Now, my first semester is coming to an end, and I thought that it would be great to share with you my experience at Lycoming so far.
The first week at Lycoming was hard, and there were times when I wanted to fly back home. Everything was new: an unknown city, new people, different food, and a new educational system. My first struggle on campus was jet lag. During the first week, international students had to attend several advising sessions, and at times I found myself feeling drowsy in the middle of some of the lectures. After the first week of adjustment came the first week of classes, and with that began a new set of struggles. Juggling between classes, homesickness, and many other challenges was very difficult.
During my first semester at Lycoming, I had a composition class, a class on the U.S. Government and Politics, a French Class on 19th Century French Literature, and a class pertaining to political philosophy. The classes were engrossing. However, there were lots of readings to do, especially for my class on U.S. Government and Politics. Since I am new to the United States political system, I had to do extra research so I was able to engage in class discussion. I remember once that I opened around 20 tabs in my web browser to read different papers in order to get a good grasp of the electoral system in the United States and understand the whole concept of the electoral college. Moreover, through this class, I had some hands-on experience with electoral polling. As part of my class requirement, I spent four hours calling residents of Pennsylvania to ask them about their views on the presidential election.
The first semester at Lycoming College has been more of an adaptation period for me (I am still on the lookout for my niche, actually). It would be a lie if I would say that I had adjusted to all the differences because there are so many of them, but I am getting used to them. I now know the formula to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, and I understand that the month should come first when writing the date (I do forget at times though). The food is different and there are some days when I go to the dining hall hoping to find a dish similar to food from home. Now, winter is here and this guy from the tropical island of Mauritius is freezing. Experiencing snow for the first time was exciting, but I am also skeptical about the snow season because some of my friends have been saying that snow is not always so fun.
During my first semester at Lycoming, I learned lots about the college's traditions and the American festivites. My favorite event since I have been on campus is Homecoming. Throughout the whole homecoming week, I learned more about the traditions at Lycoming, and participated in the homecoming parade and paint wrestling. This year, I also celebrated my first Thanksgiving in the United States of America and had my Thanksgiving dinner at freshman Dean Kilpatrick's house. I also took advantage of Black Friday deals and did some good shopping. Now, I am hoping to celebrate my first white Christmas.
My journey at Lycoming has just started, and when I reflect on my experience so far, I know that this is a path worth following. The journey might be a challenging one, but you will grow from it. And at Lycoming, the liberal arts education makes sure that this growth is a holistic one. If your situation is similar to mine and you aren't able to visit Lycoming while in high school, visit our admissions page for information or contact an admissions counselor to ask your questions!