25 thoughts on “Orientation Leaders

  1. I believe that the phrase “Liberty and Justice for All” isn’t what it seems to be. Coming from generations where the black man is not given the recognition they deserve the way the white man is. Since the beginning of the era of African American people who have lived in America, we have little opportunities due to the oppression we have faced, what we do face, and what we will continue to face every day. Since the early 1600s, the time when African Americans were forced to hop on some boat to Jamestown, Black People were treated as a lesser individual. Forwarding to when slavery was abolished, we were kept down because since we were considered nothing but a waste of space in America. Continuing into the 21st century, young Black men are having their lives were taken by the local police department, the people who we are supposed to entrust to uphold the law and keep us safe. Not to mention the courthouses and investigator who are supposed to charge these police officers for killing Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, and so on and so forth. This shows to the Black community that the only people looking out for us is ourselves and God. Now, this is not the case for every white person because my best friend’s white, but the point of this is that my friends should be the only ones showing me the respect that a normal human being should deserve, but that America should. We have a “President” who wants to prevent Mexican immigrants, looking for a better life, by building a wall. We have a woman calling the cops on young black kids, trying to make some extra cash by selling lemonade, because they didn’t have a permit. We have uneducated, white men harassing a young woman for wearing a Puerto Rican shirt, even though Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. There’s a saying that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. I believe that “Liberty and Justice for All” should be for all: whether it be the white CEO in charge of a Fortune 500 company or the hard-working Mexican immigrant cleaning toilets to meet ends meet, to the black man or woman who gets stopped by local law enforcement for being out in front of their own house.

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  2. On May 25,2016 I graduated from Saint Peter Marian High school in Worcester, MA. This was a private catholic school my mom chose to send me to after middle school. I could’ve gone to a free public high school in my neighborhood, but my mom felt I would do better off here and wanted the best education for me. I was extremely nervous about the whole decision, but I just wanted to make my parents proud. In the beginning I wanted to opt out, but I trusted my gut and pushed through my anxiousness.
    I know this wasn’t an easy decision for my parents, but this was what my mom wanted for me and she did everything in her power to make it possible for me to go there. She worked many long hours and made so many sacrifices for our family in the past four years. High school wasn’t easy, but it was definitely a journey filled with hardships and joyful moments. I believe that often times people take for granted the opportunities and blessings in their lives and never make use for it. They overlook the little things and never appreciate all that life has to offer.
    I understand that life gets difficult. Sometimes when one falls down its hard to get back up. We are faced with obstacles and tribulations at the most unexpected moments but that should never be a reason to give up or just throw your life away. In fact, this should push us to be better and want to become better individuals. There were many nights in high school when I would get frustrated and want to give up on myself. However, I would start to think about those children back in my home country that aren’t as fortunate as me to have the opportunity to go school and get an education. There are kids back in Liberia that don’t have food to eat some nights or even running water to take a shower. For someone in my position to give up would just seem so selfish on my part. My parents have put in so much effort, support and time to get me to where I am today. I feel very deeply that it should be my duty to take advantage of that and one day make it possible for the kids back home to be able to do the same.
    Sending me to this type of school opened so many doors for me that I never anticipated. I got to meet so many new people and the entire environment was one I had never experienced before. Growing up I was so used to being around a certain group of people because I attended the same school from first grade to until graduating from eighth grade. This school in a way changed my perspective on life and made me a more positive individual. There were several opportunities for the students to do weekly volunteer activities and just reaching out to those in need. Being able to put a smile on someone’s face or even changing their life in the smallest way possible brought joy to my heart.
    Each morning I wake up I try to be positive and grateful because there are millions of people around the world that didn’t get the opportunity to see another day. There are people who are hospitalized, paralyzed, blind, death and much more. Some people don’t have the resources or necessities for life and have reasons to feel down and upset. I believe that we should stop taking for granted all that we are blessed with and capable of and put it to use for those that aren’t able to do so. By taking a stand and advocating for a better life for those less fortunate, we can change the world collectively one step at a time.

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  3. It is commonly said, “There are some things that money can’t buy like manners, morals, and integrity.” I believe that no matter what kind of lifestyle you live and how you act towards others shows the type of person you truly are. Having a good education or a nice car should never give you the right to treat others poorly.
    I began a private school education in high school, for middle school I went to a charter school. My middle school, McAuliffe, was a mixed bag of economic backgrounds. One child was aware that her family was more economically stable than others and she would boast on and on about how she could afford luxury things. When someone was not able to afford the newest clothes or gadgets she would tease them. She was able to afford anything she could ever want, but constantly had to remind all of our peers that she knew she was better than them.
    The definition of integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” The amount of integrity each person has sets people apart. Having morals that you stick to even if there are people doubting you is important. The culture I grew up in taught me to have good morals, my mother made sure I knew the difference between people with good morals and ones with bad. She always told me the people that had bad morals were lost and that all they would do for me is get me lost as well. Honesty is a pillar in my trust of anyone, people that twist their the truth to benefit themselves have do not have good moral standards. Michelle Obama once said, “We learned about honesty and integrity- that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” I believe people who are not honest or people who lie and find shortcuts through life are not people anyone should surround themselves with. I believe that honest people are good quality people..
    I believe that your actions and the way you treat others will define who you are as a person. Not how much money you have, where you go to school, how popular you are, or the grades you get. What defines you is how you treat people, your honesty, having good righteous morals and good intentions for others and yourself. I believe that having strong morals are important, I believe that you should base your opinion of someone on how they act not what they have. I believe that money does not give you the right to treat people poorly. Just as I teach the children at Boys and Girls Club, the golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated. I believe we should all live up to this one simple moral code.

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    • I’ve heard it said that “People will not remember you for what had or what you did but how you made them feel”.

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  4. Value, a person’s principles, or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life. Everyone has different views on what they express as value to themselves or in their life. While some might turn to more selfish things such as wealth and fame, many others grasp onto more significant ones. Value is what one holds most highly in themselves. As one comes to get a better understanding of what life in itself is, they set and establish their own core values. I believe my core values include but are not limited to, family, dignity, leadership, kindness and love.
    Although I try to live my life through these, the one that I most believe I will try to live by will have to leadership. Leadership is great value and skill to have because you tend to be more motivated and more willing when you take leadership. When it comes to different tasks, in myself I always tend to naturally take the leading role. Which is something I am very proud of. Wanting to do more and take leads helps one to become more successful where ever they may be.
    The actions people take, really reflects one’s values. For example, myself, being a young teenager, always went above and beyond in finding ways to help out my community. Volunteering, one may call it. I always felt the need to help others simply because seeing them happy made everything fall into place. As a volunteer, especially working with children, for example the Boys and Girls Club or Girl’s Scouts and Boy’s Scouts, I always found myself leading the group in different activities. Also reflecting off of ideas and expanding them in each young child’s mind.
    With leadership as a value, it also taught me kindness and love. Working with the kids really put my mind into gears thinking of different careers that I would actually enjoy doing. Seeing people smile and succeed helped me to see in myself that I could be and was qualified to partake in anything that could help change or better someone’s life for the best. I’ve learned to kind to others, not because it is the right thing to do, but because you never know what someone else could be going through and one act of kindness towards them could change their whole perspective of life. Love is also something I’ve learned to give more of, because some people don’t receive any at all and everyone deserves it.

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  5. No Role Models in this conformist world
    I never met what would be considered a true role model. It was as if they were all extinct by the time I was born.Growing up the one thing that really mattered was making something of yourself. The problem was the idea of success was cloudy, no one really set the bar for me or even gave me the instructions on how to do it. It was just expected that I would somehow “ make it” without any help or guidance. My only role models were negative ones; the ones that a proper parent with a master’s degree and a job with a six figure salary would point out to his son and saying “ you see Billy, that’s what happens when you do drugs” and he in response would say “ gee dad I would never do drugs in my life.” It was as if they were there for me to show me what can go wrong, and believe you me; a lot can go wrong. My difference within my peers is somewhat of a scandal; the fact that their high light would be to drive a used up Honda Civic with the seat moved back so that they can barely see the road and a stereo system that could be heard in the next town over. Was as a travesty, that was to me of course because for the rest it was as if this was the norm. That a teenage boy could reach enlightenment by driving around drunk or high out his mind and a teenage girl could succeed by twerking on MTV. Now I am not saying that there is nothing wrong with that; all I am saying is that there are other options. Our so call role models should promote a better life style and in return we will be a better as a whole.

    For me education is a way out, is the light at the end of the tunnel. The sad part is that it seems as if I stood alone in this matter; tired of people telling me that I am just wasting my time by going to college, quite honestly I am so tired of seeing the smartest kids, “the ones that were going to make it” come back home with the a face full of regret and a heart full of disappointment as if all their life they believe in education but education never believe in them. The road to success was not paved for me. I have to pave the road for others I have to be the one who gets there first and come back and tell the others that is safe; as you can see losing is not an option for me it’s like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders but I can’t show it, all I have to do is smile and remember to keep moving forward. I have to remember that I am alone in this journey and that I must win at all cost.

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  6. Faith
    When I was a sophomore in high school I didn’t realize how much my life could change in a year. Around spring vacation I found out that a cyst had been twisting itself around my right ovary and it had been there for a very long time considering the doctors had said it was the size of a grapefruit. Ultimately, because of the severe damage done by the benign cyst, my ovary died therefore I needed surgery. I never had symptoms or any pain in that area that indicated that there was something wrong so I never complained about it when I had doctor appointments but the problem was caught before it further progressed. After surgery it took almost a week to be able to walk again because the incisions were still new. Later on in the school year I found out that I would have to move to New Hampshire because of a job offer my mom had received. The news was heartbreaking because I was leaving everything I loved, my home, friends, school and some family. The fear of change didn’t help because I was accustomed to my life in one place. Knowing I would be walking different hallways and seeing new people wasn’t ever part of my plan. Although I struggled in a new high school, in the end it made me realize how important it is to go through change and have faith that I could get through it. At the end of that school year I convinced my parents to let me live back in Massachusetts with my grandparents to finish senior year there. When commencement came, I truly discovered how having faith to keep going on even when life throws you somewhere you didn’t plan to be was valuable.

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  7. The battle in my mind, it has subsided.
    “Isn’t it beautiful?” A friend said to me once. “What’s beautiful?” I replied. “The fog and it’s uncertainty.” As we walked soundlessly, overlooking green marshes in the outskirts of town, immersed in a fog that clouded my vision, I saw that she was right. The fog in all its strength was truly breath-taking. I had never seen anything like it.
    Similarly, now I compare the fog of that day to my mind.
    It’s quite easy to get lost in your own thoughts, sometimes. Whether daydreaming in the presence others or setting up a list of to do’s first thing in the morning. The mind is a powerful place. It possesses the ability to control which lenses you view the world through. There are many lenses. Lenses of dysfunction, negativity, self-centeredness, fear, anger and also lenses of positivity, hope, optimism, courage and forgiveness. My mind, thoughts and actions had imitated the lenses of which I viewed my world through for years.
    Challenges, insecurities and unfortunate events had warped my identity to resemble glass with numerous cracks in it. During the nights of my prom and graduation I found myself at one of my lowest points ever, contemplating life and if it was worth pursuing.
    The reality was that I was so brokenhearted with not having dead set answers, that suicide for even just seconds seemed like a viable alternative.
    So, one night I sat down to just think about it. To honestly examine the pros and cons. As I wrote I found that…
    There was purpose for my life even though I didn’t have all the answers. There was a purpose for my life even though mental pain at times seemed unbearable. There was purpose through it all and the evidence of this was that this heart was still beating loud and clear.
    I have found my assignment is to love and be loved. That my purpose is to encourage and be encouraged. That as long as there is breath in this body, God has not finished using me as a vessel to bring love. The reality is that my hands, my heart, my mind will forever bring something valuable and unique to the table. And I now believe that every human being has a purpose for living.
    The battle in my mind, it has subsided. I have a purpose, simply to love.

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    • Steph, I really enjoyed reading this. you are such a strong person. This makes you a great leader. I really connected with your story and love that you have found purpose. Meeting you at Orientation you do exactly as you say you would you love. you were so caring and thoughtful and through all of our overwhelming questions and blank stares you helped us and gave me a beautiful and unforgettable orientation experience.

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  8. The beginning of someone’s college career is commonly viewed as a blessing and a curse. The joy of freedom and not having a curfew can sometimes be overshadowed by the fact that you will be entering a foreign environment knowing only a few people. After completing my first year of college, I believe that college is one of the potentially hardest but most rewarding experiences a young adult has endured up to this point in our lives. While the “fresh start” seems amazing for some, others dread it. The fact that first year students will be moving into a place they don’t know with someone that they potentially don’t know that well to make entirely new friends in a brand new environment can petrify someone. The adjustments that have to be made vary from simple things like not seeing your friends every day to larger things like living away from your parents for the first time. This newness has the potential to add a lot of stress to a student who is already worrying about their classes, getting books and trying to figure out the layout of the campus. The hardest thing for me was leaving my best friends. Not being able to see my best friend who I’ve gone to school with since 4th grade was so difficult that I started comparing every friendship I made to that one. I was too focused on the negatives and once I stopped focusing on all the negatives, my experience got 100% better. I started to make great friends and truly started to believe that college can be some of the best years of my life.

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  9. I believe everything happens for a reason. Time and time again I have experienced heartbreak, failure and disappointment from either myself or others. Each situation has shaped who I am today and although I believe I still have some growing to do, I’m so proud of how far I’ve come! I have a tendency to worry about everything. I want everything to be perfect always but life does not always go to plan and this is something I’ve had to grow to understand! Someone once told me “you are where you are today for a reason” and I’ve grown to believe that statement! I am where I am at today for a reason, despite the heartbreak, despite the failures, despite the disappointment! Each of these have shaped me into the woman I am now. I am dedicated, hardworking, resilient and unstoppable.

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  10. Saying that you believe in something, states that you have faith that that thing has a greater value or importance to you. I believe in many things coming from a faith filled home and culture. As a Latino American, first generation, born from immigrant parents, I believe in courage. Courage to trust, courage to be challenged, to have courage in myself, so that I can push myself to be the best version of myself I could possibly be, but also to be courageous in learning what I don’t want myself to be. Allowing myself to fall and feeling broken and vulnerable so that I can re construct a better outcome of a life for myself. To have courage is a courageous thing, I’ve been told by generations in my family to persevere and never quit, but to also have the courage to do greater than those before me who have allowed me to be where I am today in this moment. I believe in moving forward even if I’m unsure of myself, to only trust that what got me this far will take me even further.

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  11. Dorianna Rennis
    I believe everything happens for a reason. Time and time again I have experienced heartbreak, failure and disappointment from either myself or others. Each situation has shaped who I am today and although I believe I still have some growing to do, I’m so proud of how far I’ve come! I have a tendency to worry about everything. I want everything to be perfect, but life does not always go to plan and this is something I’ve had to grow to understand. I have always beat myself up with when things did not meet my standards or did not end up the way I wanted. Although I have gotten better with this, it was not until someone told me “you are where you are today for a reason”. Hearing that made me think about my life and how anything that did not go my way I deemed negative but I wasn’t my situation, I was what I made of my situation. I could either dwell in my negative or I could realize that I am where I am for a reason and although that reason may seem on clear, it is shaping me into the woman I am today! I am where I am here today for a reason, despite the heartbreak, despite the failures, despite the disappointment. These unexpected situations have made me dedicated, hardworking, resilient and unstoppable. Without these failures, disappointments and heartbreaks, I would never know how much I could handle and how well I adapt to new situations. I do not just believe everything happens for a reason, but that those reasons help us grow into our best selves.

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  12. MY belief is that genuine and truly authentic people are the best people to be around. During my time at UMass Dartmouth I have seen a lot of people, interacted with a lot of individuals, and participated in many group events and organizations. I can tell you that it has come to my understanding and my belief that the best experiences and the most memorial moments are the ones where people are being genuine and authentic, where both parties are being the true honest self’s and are not putting up any front. It can be scary to be genuine and authentic. It takes courage, it takes patience, and it takes risks. Everyone has a way that they want others to see them. Everyone has that, “this is me”, mask but the truly happy and authentic ones that have thrown away their mask and have embraced their sole self with no filters. Those are the ones that you are going to connect with, not because they have the same interests or quirks but because they are living the life everyone else wants to the life of authenticity and of embracing one’s self. I find that self-expression is a huge way to show ones own self wither that be through dance, music, painting, writing or so on the fact they are expressing themselves show they are and or are trying to be there authentic genuine true selves. And that is what I believe. I believe that those people are the best to be around as they bring out the best in themselves and in others.

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  13. I believe that everything happens for a reason, no matter if it is good or bad. Everyday in our lives we have things effect us in the long run without even realizing it. Think of it this way, if you refuse to eat, you’ll be hungry and if you continuously wait to eat, you will hurt your body in the long run. Another positive way to look at it is this way; if you smile everyday, it is proven that you are going to be a happier person than someone who does not smile as often. Have you ever just felt like smiling all day? Do it and It will be so worth it in the long run! Even though these are just actions, they can effect your everyday life. You learned from these experiences, whether it be the smallest things such as paths you do not want to go down anymore or large thing that could impact your life. Every moment is a teachable moment, and I think more people need to realize that. As the great Oprah Winfrey once said,“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.”

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  14. Truthfully, I love my hair. Yes, curls are are nice and they look good too, but have you been able to take a shower and have your hair soak up the water because of how nappy it is? Indeed, that’s my case. My naps have many qualities and characteristics, 18-years and counting and it’s able to do hair skills that curly and straight hair cannot. Ever been able to hide your last pink Starburst in your hair before your classmates asked for it? Or stick your pencil in your hair and have it vanish before your eyes? Hoodini is the name and naps is the way it’ll stay. It’s not like I got a choice anyways, am I right? I was not given a choice or preference that I’d want my hair to be, whether it be curly, black, ginger, or the infinite shades of red people think exist, but actually does not. To hate myself for being given such a thing of beauty must be a crime right. Now it’s hot outside on this nice summer day and while you curly straight heads are dying of heat stroke, the water that my naps has been conserving since my morning shower is finally cooling me off. A party trick or a resourceful tool that non-nap growers shall never know. Besides naps are a lot more fun. Why wake up an hour earlier to do your curly hair when you could just wake up with naps and go on with your day? I mean, if you don’t love the best part about yourself then who else will, society? Before you know it, you’ll think that your best quality is your worst. This I believe. My hair is ugly/nappy and I’m proud as SpongeBob would say .

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  15. Things do not always go as you plan.

    Flash back to 2014, I had been accepted to 7 schools with a major in Mechanical Engineering. I sifted through my acceptance letters, imagining what my life would be like at each and every one of them. The day to choose a school crept up much quicker than I had prepared, and I still had not made a choice. One day I asked my Dad, “which one do you really think I should go to?” and shortly after, I put in my deposit for UMass Dartmouth.

    Within the blink of an eye my first year was over. I loved my school, my professors, the faculty, and the campus. I had made Dean’s List both semesters and was looking forward to getting into the courses that more directly related to my major. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, everything hit me like a train. All of the issues I was pushing aside came to the surface and I started to struggle; my grades started to slip, I pulled away from my friends, I couldn’t focus in class, but I couldn’t bear to ask for help. Over the next few years, I was put on academic warning 3 times and was barely scraping by. I had to repeat several courses, pushing my graduation year one year, then another. I debated dropping out at the end of every semester. What happened to me? Where was the straight-A student I had been my whole life? A friend referred me to the counseling center to help me work through these things. With their help, I was able to sort out my feelings and keep pushing through school, but something still felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    In the Summer of 2018, still 2 years away from graduating, I was struck with a gut-wrenching feeling – this was not what I wanted to do with my life… I was in the wrong major. How could this be possible? Did I just waste four years of my life? That’s it, I’m done with school. I can’t do this anymore. Can I walk out of here with nothing to show for? I cried for nights on end, thinking how stupid I could be to think I would ever get a degree. Again, my dad came to me, giving me the best advice I have ever received: “It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, as long as you finish”.

    I collected myself, sat down to have a serious internal dialogue, and was confident in my decision to change my major to marketing. I wasn’t sure if they would even consider me, seeing as I was about to be a 5th year with a mediocre GPA. To my surprise, the department welcomed me with warm and open arms and made my transition seemingly effortless.

    I changed majors a year ago, and after my first semester I was back on Dean’s List for the first time since my freshman year! This past semester I really pushed myself and was stunned to see that I had made Chancellor’s List and ended this year with a 4.0 in-major GPA. ME! The same girl who was on academic warning, about to drop out year after year!

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that life works out in funny ways. I never imagined when I stepped on campus that my journey would go the way it did, but I am so grateful that it did. I have learned so much along the way and came out a much stronger person because of it. I owe so much to my father, my professors, the counseling center, and my family in the SAIL Office for never giving up on me and for always pushing me to succeed.

    A year from now I will walk the graduation stage and receive my diploma. My time at the University has been a long one, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As Joseph Campbell once said, “we must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”. Adapt, learn, grow, find happiness in where you are, and you will make it.

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  16. Long-term Effects
    Getting the privilege of going on a three-week Goodwill Tour to South Africa with my choir, the Boston City Singers, was one of the best experiences in my life. I got to go to the continent I’ve been dying to visit and was exposed to rich culture and a new lifestyle. Although I was blessed with the beautiful mountainous views and was given some of the best food ever, I was also faced with the ugly realities of South Africa. If you were not already aware, South Africa suffered from apartheid which lasted from 1948 through 1991, which is quite recent. Although the people were extremely kind to my choir and I, it was evident that there was still some ignorance among both my choir and the people of South Africa. When we would perform at primary schools, children were surprised that I was American due to the color of my skin. It seems that they were made to believe all Americans were white. I also remember that after one of our performances, one of our choir members was pulled to the side by an adult who asked him, “Why are you with all of these white people?” With this question being asked, it is obvious to tell that apartheid has had a long-term effect on the country as a whole. I don’t think that man had bad intentions when asking my choir member that, but he probably felt resentment for the actions of white people during those divisive times. It gave the negative message that different races must remain segregated and not unite. While touring and going through different neighborhoods, our tour guide would point out places using terms such as “colored” and “mixed” which blew my mind! The “colored” areas, to no surprise, were always the poorest neighborhoods with government owned housing, while the “mixed” and white areas were living better with better constructed homes. Although everyone in South Africa seems happy, it bothers me that there is still this racial divide. I am still disappointed at the human race for making something that cannot be controlled so controversial. I did not ask to be given more melanin than others, but do not take that as someone who doesn’t love her skin. Racism bothers me because it is a type of brainwashing that people have to learn to snap out of. I always ask myself if people realize how uneducated they sound when they make derogatory or condescending statements about other races. When people make such ignorant comments, I feel as though those people are insecure. The only way for an insecure person to feel good about himself is to put another down, which is what I have noticed both in America and South Africa. I believe that we can alleviate the effects of racism by educating ourselves and having open discussions and not arguments. Going to UMASS Dartmouth is a great place where these conversations can get started due to its diversity. I believe we can all benefit from this new environment to keep us woke in this society. However, we must take it a step further and start being conscious. It is by being conscious that actions will be taken in order for people to unite despite differences.

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  17. Maya Tavares
    Mtavares5@umassd.edu

    This We Believe
    The transition of starting college can be difficult for some, especially when you come from a smaller high school. You get accustomed to being the “big dogs” on campus. You go from knowing majority of your class to only knowing a few, if you’re lucky. Everyone talks about the fun times of college and getting to live away from home, decorating your dorm, and that feeling of independence. But for some, that is not always the case. Not everyone lives on campus and just because you do not does not mean you cannot share a similar college experience. I believe that no matter where you live college is whatever you make it and
    Opportunities are there but you have to push yourself out there to find them. For me, living at home was a challenge and I found it hard to make friends. I tried to get involved by joining A Cappella but it just was not for me, and being a nursing major I felt that it was only just about school. My daily schedule consisted of school, study, go home and repeat. But I was looking at it all wrong. I needed to find a healthy balance and to really push out of my comfort zone.
    Being a commuter, it can be harder to make friends but it is not impossible. I have grown so much since the beginning of the school year. Over the summer going into my sophomore year I will be an Orientation Leader and for the upcoming school year I will be a Resident’s Assistant as well. The opportunities are present, like I said before, you just have to work for them. If you want to make the most out of college then put in the effort because it will show.

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    • maya thank you for sharing your thoughts on freshman year and to make college our own. I too am going to be a nursing major and at first I thought I was only going to focus on school and not be able to do anything else. But after orientation and meeting the OLs,especially the nursing ones it helped me to realize I can be a student and be involved.

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  18. I believe that if you want something enough, you can attain it.
    The law of attraction embodies the belief that if you truly want something,
    You must radiate that same interest and energy and you will achieve it. If you want to be successful, embody the structure and lifestyle of someone successful and carry your mindset as such as well. Nothing is truly and fully out of reach in this world, and I truly believe that there’s always a way of reaching a goal with this simple principle. In my own life this truth holds very true. My dream is to become an inspiration to the people around me wherever I am. Ever since I was young I always aspired to be someone to make an impact on people’s lives because I’ve always had a deep care for people’s emotions and a strong sense of empathy. Ever since I decided to make this my reality, I lived my life day by day spreading and emitting as much positive energy as possible.

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  19. I believe in submerging myself in nature. To lose yourself in the pureness of it all is truly invigorating. I’ve always had a deeper love for nature and the smaller things in life than the average person. The ocean and the forest are my favorite places to go. Out of the two, I would have to say that I go to the forest more often. If I have a problem, or I need to cleanse my thoughts, I simply turn to hiking to solve all my problems. Whenever I hike through the woods, a sense of relief washes over me. When I was a child, my great grandmother once told me that if I ever start to lose touch with nature, I will soon start to lose myself as well. As time went on and I gained more maturity and wisdom, I found that she was absolutely right. I need nature.

    One natural instinct I have is to walk on the beach every summer morning. Do you love to go to the beach? Maybe it’s because you find it to be calming or relaxing. You love to watch the sunrise or sunset? Maybe it’s because the colors give you a sense of curiosity and wonder. Nature is one of the universal concepts that can either give you all the answers you’ve been looking for or create a word of questions you didn’t even know you had. One day, I went hiking to find answers to my problems. I eventually found all of the answers I was looking for. But, as always, more questions came about. One thing about nature is you don’t have to dwell on your problems for too long. Its natural beauty can be so overwhelming that your problems seem so much less important. The world is bigger than you or all your problems will ever be. You just have to look from a different perspective. You have to look from the nature perspective.

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  20. For most couples, having a child is a great achievement. However, for my biological parents this was not the case. I was the product of two people whose understanding of love didn’t include each other and certainly had nothing to do with me. Growing up knowing the two people who are supposed to love me the most had no love for me made me question whether I was even worthy of love. All my life I had so much love for those around me, but loving myself was something I found great difficulty in. I felt like the world around me was a puzzle and I was the only piece that didn’t fit.
    It wasn’t until recently I was talking to a friend of mine and I told her “No matter how hard it gets and how bad you feel make sure you take time to love yourself. I mean like really love because you may have all these people and things making you feel so worthless, but at the end of the day you are the only person you’re stuck with and if you don’t love yourself it’s gonna be a long ride.” You see, I had spent so many days giving all my love to the people around me, but when I was all alone those were the moments I dreaded. Being alone with all the negative thoughts I had about myself ate away at me, they brought me to some of my weakest moments. I was so far down the rabbit hole of self-loathing and I had no strength to drag myself to the surface. It wasn’t until I realized I needed to trade self-loathing for self love, that is when I gained my strength. I was no longer crying myself to sleep and dreading looking in the mirror every morning and hating what I saw. I started making time for myself and learning to love the person I am.
    I believe to truly gain an understanding of love and be able to accept it from those around you, you must first love yourself. You are the only person you can never walk away from so no matter what anyone tells you: love who you are because in the end you are the only person you are stuck with.

    Carrianne “Pepper” Fortier

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  21. I believe there is power in silence.
    Silence is the absence of sound that can be heard from across the room. Silence makes people uncomfortable, so we instinctively fill it with conversations, background music, and playlists. Our lives lack in silence because we constantly fill it with noise, distractions, or voices because everyone wants to be heard. Silence fills the emptiness and allows you to listen to your surroundings whether that be nature or a car
    passing by on the highway. Allowing the silence to take control we begin to look internally and fill the silence with our thoughts and the natural music of the world. When you find silence try not to fill it and actively listen to it.
    Learning to utilize silence we can collect our thoughts, be more mindful of others, and become transparent to ourselves. Taking a pause to collect one’s thoughts, and
    ideas shows to others that you care and aren’t just coming up with something on the spot. When you take the time to collect your thoughts you begin to be honest with yourself to a deeper understanding of what you are expressing. When silence is provided in a conversation with others it shows that you are actively listening to what they are saying to you. In the silence you are welcoming their words to take center stage in full focus. When the silence is found alone, we fill it with our own thoughts, and can fully digest some of the things we may not want to but can address it with full focus. In silence there are words, sounds, and expressions that can go unheard if you don’t listen
    close enough.

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  22. I did not grow up in the typical way, on the typical path, with the typical role models, or with the typical structure many people are used to or what people assume people are used to. At the age of 15 I started to live away from home on and off, spending more time in mental hospitals than at my own home. I continued to live in hospitals, programs, and group homes up until I was 19 years old until I officially moved back home for my final year in high school until I moved away to college. Living in these places has given me a different outlook on life. I was raised by staff members and doctors who taught me coping skills, living skills, and how to live as an individual and rely on myself instead of others. I learned what it means to have responsibility, independence, and how to preserver through the hard times. I did not grow up in the typical way, on the typical path, with the typical role models, or with the typical structure many people are used to or what people assume people are users to but I would not change a second of it because it has made me who I am today.

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