Pearl Pham: We’re Back Broncos!
The long awaited time has finally come, we’re back in school after the pandemic. Inevitably, this implies the traditional test taking, classes, club meetings, and even internships. As a student whose first-year was entirely online, the idea of being in-person worried me over the summer. Though I had established many wonderful friendships and communities in Santa Clara, there still was this lingering fear that I wouldn’t fit in socially in-person. But my main concern was fearing if I’d perform well academically. However, I would never be able to know unless I actually tried in-person school for myself.
So on the first day of school, I was sitting in my first class, Accounting 11, questioning all these fears. I skimmed the room and saw familiar faces I’ve seen on a screen before but overall new people. To my surprise, it wasn’t as intimidating as I made it out to be. These were just other students that are also back in-person for the first time in a while. The social anxieties left my mind once the professor started lecturing but I began questioning my academic performance next. Throughout my first-year, I heard rumors that this class in particular was rather difficult and that I should be cautious of testing seasons. This planted the idea that I would struggle throughout this class and likely fail. So to avoid this at all cost, I tried my best to prepare prior to each class. Throughout the first few weeks, I realized that I enjoyed this class a lot and that I didn’t need to overthink it. Class lectures were really interesting and I felt like I really understood the material. As a matter of fact, this became my favorite class in Santa Clara! During testing season, I studied with a group of other students and ran through practice problems multiple times with them to reinforce concepts. Not only did I make many memorable nights from those late night study sessions but I also felt much more confident going into the exam.
Though I still have a long way to go for my first quarter on campus, I undoubtedly believe that it’s a much better experience in-person than it is online. Being able to interact with people face-to-face is much more enjoyable and personable than online and isn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. Students in Santa Clara are some of the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve met which is also why I chose this school in the first place. I’ve always heard from others that the “college experience” is a once in a lifetime thing and I understand now why this is. Never in my life have I gotten to be exposed to so many different types of people from different backgrounds while expanding my education immensely and learning about myself. At the same time, understanding my abilities in the classroom is another major takeaway. It’s important to try a class or internship first before questioning your capabilities because chances are you may thrive in it or genuinely enjoy it. I never thought I’d enjoy this accounting class since people claimed it was harder than the average class. But now it’s my favorite! Of course you have to put in the effort and studies but the payoff is extremely rewarding, especially if you enjoy learning the content. After being in-person for some time now, I’ve learned much more about myself in a college setting and am confident to say that I’m excited for the next few years of opportunities.