Laura Darza: Sophomore Year 8000 Miles Away From Campus
As my Sophomore Year comes to an end, I wanted to reflect on how much has happened and changed within this past year. What was meant to be a 5-week Spring Break turned out to be a 14 month extended visit back home to Cebu, Philippines. What initially started as a great way to spend more time with my family and dogs turned into a constant lingering question at the back of my head asking: "how can I still make the most out of my college experience while being 15 hours ahead and thousands of miles away from SCU?"
This question stuck with me all throughout Spring 2020. I was simply going with the motions of school - zoom class after zoom class, assignment after assignment. I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone and I was simply going to wait for things to return to some kind of normalcy before I ever became involved around campus. As summer came along, I recognized that things wouldn’t be changing anytime soon and I realized that even if in-person classes were on hold, life at SCU didn’t completely stop. There were so many different organizations and opportunities that I could try and be a part of, and I made it a point to make the most out of my college experience even if I’d be spending 90% of my time in my childhood bedroom.
One year later, I am honored and thrilled to be a part of such amazing communities such as Santa Clara Community Action Program, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Santa Clara Consulting. These organizations have pushed me out of my comfort zone and have helped me grow both professionally and personally. SCCAP provided a safe space for discussions about social issues and figuring out ways to spread awareness through individual work and department-based projects. Alpha Kappa Psi became a support system that I could always rely on and encouraged me to live holistically whether that be through service, fundraising, professional, and brotherhood events put on by the chapter. Santa Clara Consulting gave me a glimpse into various industries and allowed me to apply all that I’ve learned in the classroom to real-life engagements.
With all that being said, this past year definitely had its struggles, but I’ve grown to be more adaptable and willing to step out of my comfort zone. I am excited for what the future holds and to continue making the most out of my college experience as students begin to head back to the campus we left last March.