Posts Tagged blog

Negligence & Cool College Things

duylam-85Dear CSO readers & my blog,

I have fallen short of my aims to update this blog regularly. Perhaps you think I am a ghost and my experience is lackluster. Far from it. Okay, I’m just being a bit dramatic. But seriously, I do feel this tug of pain and guilt getting on this blog after it’s been so long. Well now that, that’s over, I’ve been doing a lot of things since college, as I’m sure my fellow scholars have.

College really opens a lot of doors for you, but this mainly depends on how you spin college. Some people just go to class, go back to their dorm/house, and just chill out, work, or whatever. But some people, go outrageous and join the School Spirit Club, Chi Omega, become a cheerleader, join SGA and become the president, and like just so much stuff. Honestly, I think the only limit on what college offers [academically and extracurriculars] is the extent of your wanting to do things and the imagination you have.

For me, Boston is just a mind blowing place. Amazing architecture, beautiful parks [Boston Commons is amazing], 2 dollar lo mein [check out Chinatown]. It has so much to offer for whatever you need. But there is also MIT, the Cambridge Coworking Center, and 9,120,3801,283 other things. Almost every single day of the week is filled with some sort of technology conference, energy conference, entrepreneurial panel, lecture, seminar, whatever. When I got here, believe that I was deeply moved by it all.

There will be many resources and opportunities that are offered, and trust me when I say you won’t be able to capitalize on all of them. Do as much as you can when you can, and I know for many of us, money can be an issue, but if you have the means to cover expenses I think you should definitely take whatever it is that comes your way. Hey I mean I’m going to New York this weekend to meet 700+ entrepreneurial people [no I really won't meet that many], and I’ll have the chance to present my business concept at the New York Stock Exchange. Not that bad right?

And that’s what college has given me so far, in a nutshell. Amazing people, even better connections, and the best cheapest lo mein I’ve ever eaten.

A holiday poem from Center for Student Opportunity

CSOlogo-85‘Twas the night before college application deadlines and all through the town
Each and every student was stirring, at least one with a frown.
From considering publics, to privates, Ivies, Big Ten, and more
Each student was hoping to send in their highest test score


Most were quite stressed, but none touched their beds,
As visions of application essays danced in their heads.
Some were on twitter and facebook taking the process in stride,
And everyone wished for a copy of the
College Access & Opportunity Guide.

Making sure that the schools promoted access, opportunity, and success
These future college graduates had learned to determine great colleges from the rest.
“How will I afford college? Will I need loans?
What will my financial aid package be?,” These students moaned.

On to CSO College Center they went to sign up to be Opportunity Scholars
Where what to their eyes did appear but hundreds of colleges and ways to get dollars
They wrote to “Ask the Experts” for the answers to all they should know,
Then checked out the
blog and read of ten others—also first in their family to go.

Having utilized CSO, they had done all that they could to prepare
Now the question was not if, how, or when, but merely to where.
Fast forward to spring, when from outside the mailbox there arose such a holler
I got in, I got in—I’m truly an
Opportunity Scholar.


Help students become first in their family to go to college and make all of their holiday and college wishes come true. Donate to Center for Student Opportunity.

Please share this with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Giving Thanks

jesse-85Thanksgiving was spent away from home but I was still able to enjoy it in great company. There is an organization on campus called RAZA which is centered around Mexican-American culture. Every year for the past 4 years, RAZA goes to Ed’s house for Thanksgiving (Harvard ‘06). It was so much fun being able to spend it with this new family I have been able to find here at Harvard. I ate A TON!! It was delicious.

It was hard being away from family but I was able to Skype with them on Ed’s computer. They were, of course, playing the rancheras and the cumbias back home but we had that playing at Ed’s house too so I felt at home. Seeing my family over Skype was definitely a great feeling. I felt as if I was right there with them.

So, remember, even though you may be thrown into another world once you get into college and might not be able to see your family during the holidays, there are still ways to enjoy this time apart with close friends and with 21st century technology.

I am thankful for my family, mentors, and friends who I owe my life to. I wouldn’t be the same without the experiences (good and bad) that I have shared with them. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have at hand, especially ones like the CSO Opportunity Scholars Blog which give me the opportunity to show you future first-generation college students that college is possible no matter what your background is.

And I am thankful for you, the reader, who has taken the time out of his or her schedule to learn more about my college experience. Hopefully you can find it in yourself to acknowledge the strength you have to break the mold and make it to college. Keep working hard and make the best out of every situation. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Understanding Why

duylam-85 I don’t like being a sore loser, so horrah for the Yankees. How about that Matsui?

Hey guys, me again [I hope someone actually reads my blog haha]

As the days roll by, I find that I’m becoming more and more enveloped with promoting this blog, and getting CSO’s message out. Why? Why…well it used to be because I was a scholarship winner and I was excited about blogging. I still am of course, but the answer to “Why?” is becoming, for lack of a better word, clearer and more meaningful.

As a son of immigrant parents, I am my family’s “golden child”. My family has sacrificed their own comfort just so I can live unchained by the limitations of Vietnam. Guess what? I’m just one out of thousands and thousands of kids with the same story. Your life could be based off the same platform as mine – a family who believes in their seed.

So this brings me back to the question “Why blog? Why promote this when you got the scholarship?” Because I got to eat some pie, and everyone else should eat too. What I’m trying to say is that there are plenty of other people who want to “eat” and now that I have my piece I need to help them eat. Because I understand what it’s like to be without pie, and I understand what it’s like to have a family who believes in you, and I understand that you sometimes feel like Atlas carrying the weight of the world, and I understand what it is like to stay up at night wondering how you’ll ever get out of this hell hole. We’ve all shared the same hunger pains,  &  we are tied together, while we may not know each other, by a shared value and struggle. What I’m saying is sometimes we all need a helping hand, or maybe someone to help light that next step in your path and I want to do that. So when you read my blog know that this isn’t because CSO. It’s because we all need somebody and when there isn’t someone to help the world seems to be at its darkest.

So yeah, we were all put at the bottom. We’re all near the ledge, but just take a leap of faith and let your eagle wings spread,