In a few days’ time from now, we are going to matriculate from INTO pathway program to at last transition to a degree-seeking program the Master’s in Telecommunications. It was just as if yesterday that left the warm weather of my country and stepped foot in the icy ground of United States of America to start my higher education journey. Now, I am stepping deeper into the conquest as leaves on the trees grows and as the birds return from migration, I thank God for the sustenance, and I was able to triumph over the challenges. When I arrive here in the US, I know nobody aside from my relatives, there was nobody whom I can relate to. So, I really appreciate the efforts of the INTO Mason Program and the people that made the mission and vision of the program possible.
In my INTO Pathway program, I was able to learn a lot from the US cultures. Some of which really surprised me such as the food portion. One time I went to a diner for a snack, I ordered a burger with fries, a normal meal for me, but when my order arrived, oh! No! this is not a snack! this is breakfast lunch and dinner! Yes, probably I am just exaggerating, but the portion is so big, not the usual burger and fries in my country, and well I suppose you can get a portion like that somewhere, but rarely you can find that big.
Sadly, as months continues, my adventure in discovering more about US culture especially Mason’s culture slowed down. I never thought this would ever happen, I never thought this virus, this disease, this pandemic, this corona covid-19 virus, this invisible thing will destroy the momentum of my just-started-great-adventures. Life is hard enough as it is, assignments and classes are hectic enough as it is. But despite of what is happening, despite the humbling covid-19 cases, I see great resilience. I am very blessed to have been enrolled in George Mason University for the institution’s resilience. Just then and that, the school transitioned to online mode of learning. I am happy I am able to continue to learn given that I don’t like virtual classes, I prefer face to face learning. I am happy to be able to accomplish my classes. I can say although I prefer learning face to face, I really enjoyed the benefits of having to learn in the comforts of my home, no traffic, not pollution, no pollen, and time is not restricted.
Even though it is very challenging to collaborate from a distance, the Pathway program helped me to learn the essential things I need to face the next chapter of my learning in the master’s degree program. The program thought me what the US culture is during my INYO504. I learned how to compose research proposal during my EAP508. And with the EAP098, I realized that my English skills has errors. Although I have been using the language since when I was a kid, I realized that I do not know the correct concepts if English. I only use it, but I don’t know the rules governing it. Having said that, the pathway programs was indeed helpful.
Above all my experiences, all of them allowed me to be qualified to proceed to the next chapter of my studies. I thank all the people who helped me through it all.