Have you ever wondered what you will become and what path you are going to take to reach your dream? I was in that situation two years ago. Well, first of all let me introduce myself. My name is Felly Rusli. I am from Jakarta, Indonesia and I have been studying at Green River Community College (GRCC) for 5 quarters. I am planning to take a double major in Computer Science and Industrial Engineering and I am going to transfer to a university soon. I am so excited about the next big things in my life. Well, here is my story I want to share with you.
Two years ago I was about to finish my high school and I had to start applying to universities. At that time, I did not know which university I should apply for since I was still not sure about what major to choose. My dad suggested me to go to America for its reputation of the best education system. My dad and I went to a lot of different international education fairs to get more information about studying in USA. As I got more information, I got more interested in applying to one of the colleges in America. I compared one school to another and I ended up choosing a community college (CC) since they offered me a more affordable tuition with the same quality of education. It surprised me because us, in Indonesia, do not have that kind of program. This is one of the reasons why I was very sure that I would attend a community college. My next consideration was the location of the school. My parents surely want the safest place as possible for me to study. My education agent suggested to go to CCs located around Seattle. I did some research on the city and couple of CCs. I finally chose GRCC. It is not located in Seattle but it is not far either. I love the green atmosphere (tall trees, green grass and beautiful nature-filled campus) since it is a hard thing to find in my hometown. One reason that made my dad approved me to go to GRCC is because it has Campus Corner Apartment (CCA), which is kind of rare for a community college to have its own on-campus housing facility. Then, in September 2012, I finally started my college years here in GRCC.
September 12th, 2012 was the first time I came to Seattle. My feeling was indescribable. I was happy to start my college life but I was also a little bit nervous to live by myself. I remembered that I met some GRCC staffs in the airport and they took me to Campus Corner Apartment (CCA). On the following day, CCA staffs helped me to get some important things done, such as setting up a local bank account and a shopping trip to the nearest grocery store by bus. They helped me to become familiar with the bus system. The first couple days of orientation here were so fast and classes were going to begin very soon. I should prepare myself for the new things (study environment, new classes) and also for the Compass Test. That was my first test here. There were two sections on this placement test, English and Math. Fortunately, I did pretty well on both of them and I was allowed to register for more advanced classes. After finishing with the Compass Test, next come the fun parts of the orientation: Seattle Trip and Cultural Orientation and Recreation Experience (CORE). I went to downtown Seattle to see the famous Pike Place Market and also the International District, where I can find so many Asian food. CORE was where I tried to play paintball for the first time and it was really fun. I met most of my friends on these trips, it was such a great opportunity to make new friends.
Orientation week was fun, but the real adventure began on the following week. The first day of the quarter, I was a little bit lost in this big college. I was not used to it, my previous high school only has one building while there are 20 buildings in here. On the first week, I tried to make adjustment to my classes. I started to raise my hand, ask questions and give opinions because those are required to be successful in class. I remembered my first time asking question was so hard. I was afraid to ask silly questions because people would think I am not smart. But I did it anyway and since that first try, asking questions and giving opinions was not a problem anymore. I would immediately raise my hand and ask question if I did not understand something. After several quarters doing this, I got along well with some of my instructors. When I need recommendation letter to apply for a job or scholarship, they are willing to do that for me.
Time flies by so fast. Now, I am on my second year and I am ready to transfer to a four year university and continue my studies. I chose several universities to apply and my top three choices are University of Washington, University of Wisconsin – Madison and University of Texas. I really hope that I can get into one of these three universities since they have a good reputation for my major. Right now, I have been working on University of Wisconsin application. However, this is not my first application. Last fall, I applied to University of California – Berkeley. There were so many things that I had to fill in. It took a lot of time to work on this admission process. It asked about my courses in GRCC, my activities and my experiences. Well, thanks to GRCC that has so many clubs that I can join and gives me lots of opportunities to give back to the community by doing volunteer work. For instance, being a member and also an officer of Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society, gives me lots of opportunities to volunteer at a local food bank. Next, the biggest part of the application is personal statement. Yes, for me, it is the hardest thing. As an international student, my English might not be as good as the local students. Sometimes I have a great idea in my mind, but it is hard to express in words. So, here is what I do when I am feeling stuck. I talk to my instructors, my advisors or my friends about what I am thinking about. We usually discuss a little bit and there it is! I know what I am going to write. Then after I finished it, I go back to the advisor or my teacher to have them read it and to see if it is good enough to be submitted. From their comments I can make revisions to my personal statement. I keep repeating this until I feel that was the best personal statement I have ever done then I send it to the university. This process takes time, a lot of time, but nothing worth ever comes fast and easy. Hopefully, I will be done with all of the applications and my transfer admission process soon. So, which universities will accept me? And which one will I attend? Stay in touch and I will update you with the answer J