DAENNE'S EXCHANGE JOURNEY

DAENNE'S EXCHANGE JOURNEY

I did the exchange program for academic and personal growth and I got spiritual growth, best growth of all growth.
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The reality of exchange is far different from all the plannings and all these pictures you may have in mind of how things will go. So, as an ongoing exchange student, I'm here to tell you about my experience so certain things don't take you by surprise. If you don't know what exchange is check out my last article to learn more about it 10 Reasons why you should do the national student exchange program

I have to tell you that going on exchange to the University of Louisville is by far one of the most amazing thing that have happened to me, I would not trade this experience for nothing else in life not just for academic reasons, but I have grown spiritually (maybe I will tell you all faithful readers about this one day). When you are away alone, you get to see life differently and you have more time to think and be at peace of mind (at least that's what my experience has been).

Now, I know you've been waiting to hear about my exchange journey, let me tell you about it along with a few tips about exchange. (This is one of my longest article I APPRECIATE YOU TAKING YOUR TIME READING IT)

1. GO TO ALL THE WELCOME WEEK EVENTS

Knowing how much I love activities, of course I went to a lot of welcome week events. All of them were great especially when you are new on campus and don't know your way around. I met a lot of people during those events ( some that I don't remember their names now, but whom I'm grateful for because they all helped me either by showing me where to get food or show me my way around). Most importantly, there was plenty of food and a lot of give-aways at all those events. So, if you are going on exchange, you certainly do not want to miss those events.

2. GET INVOVLED

Yes, get involved!!! In my opinion, whether you go on exchange or not, you should still get involved as much as your life schedule permits it while in college cause you want to get the most out of your college years.While on exchange, I got involved with Phi Delta Epsilon International Pre-Medical Fraternity which I was already part of at Florida International University, so that was easy engagement for me ( but not so easy to find them, it was a process). I also got involved with the BCM (Baptist Campus Ministry); I have a Catholic background, but they didn't look at that they just welcome everyone so much that the BCM became my favorite place to hang on campus. I just needed somewhere for praise and worship and found that and so much more (that's another story in itself). I also got involved with research, volunteer work, and shadowing. Now, I say get involved, but don't get yourself overwhelmed just like I did. I took on so much that I ended up struggling in the middle of it. If you are going on exchange, just take it easy and take on as much you think you can handle, don't overdo it just like I did (I paid the price DON'T DO IT!). Keep in mind that you are going somewhere new, you have to adjust to the environment and more before anything else.

3. BE NICE

I say be nice not to say be friendly; my person and my brother usually calls me friendly, so I guess you can say maybe I am friendly. If you know me, you probably know that I smile a lot and I am very talkative, but let me tell you what my friendliness did for me. I went to an ice cream social the second week of school mind you this was when I still didn't know almost anyone on campus. I was just making small talks with students and other people around and I ended meeting two of the highest ranking people at the school. Follow this conversation:

Him: That's a nice smile you have there, what's your name? how is it going?

Me: Thank you, I'm good and you? (of course I said my name ahahahahah)

Him: I'm good, how is school going so far?

Me: not too crazy just yet, I'm still trying to find my way around.

Him: That's good. What's your major and what year are you?

Me: I am a junior majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology, and I am pre-med.

Him: Oh wow, this is great!!! but how come you're still finding your way around? are you a transfer student?

Me: No, I'm here on exchange from Florida International University.

Him: OMG, I love FIU and my wife went there, welcome to Louisville. Well, I'm the dean of students here if you ever have any questions or need anything don't hesitate to email me, or come by my office ( I ended needing his help for real and he helped for real). Let me introduce you to Dr Postel. Hey, meet Daenne, she's an exchange student from FIU.

Dr Postel: Welcome to U of L, what brought you to Louisville?

Me: Laugh, I don't know, I'm just here.

Dr Postel: Well, we are glad to have you here. What's your major?

Me: My major is Biology with a minor in Psychology, and I am pre-med.

Dr Postel: I am a medical doctor myself, do you know what you want to do yet?

Me: I think I want to be a pediatrician, but I have an open mind about everything else.

Dr Postel: It's good to know what you want, but it's a good thing to keep an open mind.

Me: Well , I was looking for shadowing opportunities, do you by any chance accept students to observe you?

Dr Postel: I am more on the administrative side of things now, I don't practice anymore, but I'm a Radiologist and practiced for a long time I can put you in contact with one of my colleagues.

Me: You would? Thank you so much. How do I get in contact with you? Can you give me an email or a phone number please?

Dr Postel: I am the school President, just Google U of L President and you'll find me.

Me: You are???? I had no idea who you were.

Dr Postel: It's good to interact with people nicely without knowing who they are, now let me let you enjoy your ice cream, just email me.

Me: wait!!! can we take a picture ( of course I'd ask that)

Dr Postel: Sure!!!

Me: Thank you, and Thank you again for everything.



See, it's simple JUST BE NICE. I spoke to Dr Postel and the dean for about 5 minutes each without knowing who they were and I was just pleasant to them both. In case you are wondering, I did send him that email and he put me in contact with some great doctors and I have been happily shadowing at the University of Louisville Hospital since then. You'd be surprise what a smile can bring both you and the other party. Just SMILE

Now, if you are still reading I appreciate you even more!!!

4. DON'T EXPECT TO HAVE NEW BEST FRIENDS RIGHT AWAY

First of, my person will get on me for even mentioning this. She'll be like you're not allowed to have anyone else besides me and Dani (deep down she means that). Just don't expect to have the best of friends right away. Now, I met a few people that I think I am safe to call them friends because they have proven to be friends and genuinely care about me and I care about them too. Kari and India, I love you girls!!! Thank you for being such great support, I'll miss you both and everyone else I've met here.

5. BE ADVENTUROUS

Duh!!!! you are somewhere new so why not? Let my let pictures speak for themselves


(oh! meet some of the U of L Ongoing NSE group)

6. REMEMBER YOU ARE STILL IN SCHOOL EVEN IF YOU ARE ON EXCHANGE

I say this because there was a point where I completely forgot that part for a minute. I had to say academic Daenne academic.

7. GET MENTALLY PREPARED TO GO BACK HOME

To be honest, I don't think I'm quit there yet. Although, I miss everyone back home, but I love this peace of mind I have here.


Overall, this exchange has changed my life completely, I have learned so much about myself that I didn't know before. The main thing I learned was needs vs wants, when you are on a tight budget, you'll learn that for sure. God has used NSE to mold me into a better person; I am just beyond grateful for this opportunity.

I also learned you my true friends are, and the who truly care about me in the process. When you go through tough time and when you move is when you will know who really care about you.

I want to thank FIU and U of L for this privilege. I also want to thank everyone who supported me through this journey I mean all kind of support prayers, texts, calls, any kind of support thank you. Thank you to those who didn't support me as well, you too helped me become stronger.


Now, if you make it to end, thank you for your time and thank you for learning about my exchange journey. I hope that my experience will help you or a loved one going on exchange or in anything else in life.

Remember to bless someone with your smile today, you never know what your smile can bring you or someone else.

Xoxo,

DD

Cover Image Credit: Daenne Dolce
Cover Image Credit: Daenne D
Cover Image Credit: Snapchat

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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