Return to Stevens Point
As one chapter ends another begins. Summer is over but that means that fall is around the corner along with many new adventures. About a week ago I moved back to Stevens Point and I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t been to Stevens Point since December, just before I left for Spain, and when I returned last week I felt like a hole my in heart was refilled. I have traveled across the world and been to many places, but Stevens Point will always have a special place in my heart. From the smiling faces, to the tall, green trees, and even the campus buildings; I love Stevens Point. I think one of the best moments for me was when I walked into the Student Services Center and saw a display case promoting study abroad and when I looked in it I saw several of my pictures from Spain. It made me feel happy and that I was important to the school and community.
Aside from just being on cloud nine due to returning to Stevens Point, I did a lot of other amazing things this past week, too. I spent most of this week working as a peer mentor for the new international students that have come to Stevens Point. These are students from all over the world that are coming as degree seeking students and they will be here for at least four years. These students are fluent in English, but there is a group that come for a shorter period just to learn English as a second language. This was an incredibly rewarding experience for me because I felt like I was paying it forward in some sort of way. I just spent a semester abroad and know what it can feel like to be in a new place and not know what to do. One of the my proudest moments from this week was when on of the students who doesn’t know much English was trying to talk to some of the advisers but they would not communicate very well because he only speaks Spanish. Luckily I was around and able to step in and communicate with him because I can speak Spanish. It shows that going to Spain and learning Spanish is very helpful. I helped these students not only learn about and feel comfortable at UW-Stevens Point, but also Wisconsin and the United States of America.
Another of the highlights of my time as a peer mentor this week was going to the Noel picnic for the international students. Each year the Noel family hosts a welcome picnic for all the international and exchange students. To me is seemed very heartwarming that two UW-Stevens Point alumni, who are very successful, give back so much to their school and community. It makes me feel that I can accomplish my goals and end up a successful and giving person too with my skills that I have and will gain during my time at UWSP. It was also nice for me to meet so many other community members with similar interests as me. Overall, I loved being a peer mentor and I made some new friends from all over the world. I can’t wait to see them throughout this semester and beyond.
Aside from helping others adjust to campus, I also had to readjust to being back in Stevens Point. This year I am living off campus in a house with some friends, it will be my first semester living off campus at Stevens Point which is exciting. It took us several days to unpack to arrange everything how we wanted it, but I am happy to call this my home for the upcoming year. I love being around my old friends after not seeing them for several months. On Saturday, my two friends and I went to the farmers market in downtown and then went antique shopping; I love living in and being apart of this community. After getting all moved in I went to pick up my textbooks from the University Store & Text Rental on campus, (one of my favorite things about coming to Stevens Point is the book rental!) and print off syllabi and assignments my professors had emailed me. As I was doing that I had a bit of a reality check about how much work I am going to be doing this semester. I am taking 17 credits and most of them are important to my majors. I am going to have to work hard this semester without question, but that’s ok with me I suppose. I’ve already had homework assigned for one of my math classes due on the first day of class; I had to laugh a little when I went to do it and I realized my calculator was out of batteries haha. This semester is definitely going to be different from my semester in Spain but I suppose change is good.
I am really looking forward to a variety of events coming up this week for me. On Tuesday, the Student Finance Association has its executive board meeting, which includes me this semester because I am a public relations coordinator this year. I can’t wait to see my position in the club take form and continue to help grow this new club on campus. Then on Wednesday I start my work at the Payment Services office as an accounting assistant; I am both excited and nervous for this because I will be helping a professional accountant and get to see what it is like to be an accountant is this area and perhaps I will be interested in that for a career for myself one day. I always picture myself being an accounting for a larger organization but we all have to start somewhere.
This has been a crazy but fantastic week and I know good things are in store. I will post again once classes get going and everything falls into place more. : )
Alexia Szabo is a junior majoring in accounting, Spanish and international studies at UW-Stevens Point.