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Posts Tagged holiday

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

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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.

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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.

Homesickness 101

seanna-85A niggling of homesickness and sadness washed over me as I glanced back at my friend Alejandra.  Just like most of the campus, she was heading to the airport…excited about going home for the Thanksgiving break.  And unlike most of the campus, I was walking to my Latin class for a mid-term…and afterwards, I planned to return back to an empty room.  I’d spent previous holidays away from family, but up until this year, I had at least always been surrounded by friends.  While I knew that there were many people going through far worse situations, I still wasn’t feeling very optimistic about the next four days.  School work and silent hallways did not seem like good company.

I was wrong…

Okay…actually, the school work was not fun.  And the hallways were silent to the point of creepiness, but my break was still great, all because I chose to get involved around campus with other remaining students.  For Thanksgiving, I helped cook with our campus’s SOCA organization (Student of Color Alliance); I was personally responsible for the green beans and a strawberry cheesecake.  Before that evening, I was once again apprehensive about sharing this meal with basic strangers, but the awkwardness seemed to bring us together.

The food was amazing—together, we compiled ham, turkey, chicken, green beans, greens, mac n’ cheese, potatoes, corn, lasagna, cheesecake, pumpkin pecan pie, brownies, cornbread…the list went on and on.  Some of the leaders set out tablecloths and played music.  Afterwards, we sat around the table and played games.  Some of the guys watched football, sprawled across the couches in the room.  At some point, I looked around at the group of people and realized that I should count my blessings.  Even thousands of miles away from Arkansas, I was able to find a place to call “home”—a community of students who had most likely felt the same misgivings about the holiday, but still managed to find a silver lining.  We may not have gone home, but we were together.

And so…let me end this hunky-dory post with the lesson that I learned, one that I keep learning over and over.  College is all about new experiences.  Keeping an open mind and finding ways to reach out can help lessen feelings of homesickness or loneliness.  In applying for college and choosing a four-year (or two-year) abode, don’t allow physical distance to deter you from a great community.  You find great people in unexpected places…which can always lead to memories that you never imagined having.

Thankful for the things we often take for granted…

lysa-85Being with my family these past few days has made me realize just how fortunate I am for having a house over my head for the holidays. I began to think about how many people don’t have anyone to go home to. 

I am grateful that everyone in my family is also relatively healthy and safe. I am thankful that I wake up every morning with no worries about how I’m going to eat that day, or where I’m going to lay my head down at night.

It’s so easy to forget just how many people are homeless during the holidays, and cannot even afford to feed their families. My heart truly goes out to those who are struggling during the holiday season.

My family may not be the richest, live in the nicest neighborhood, or drive the fanciest car, but we do have each other, and being home makes me realize that I have a support network of people who love me back home that many people do not have. 

Most of all, I am thankful to be where I am right now in my life, with the ability to shape my own  future. I am thankful to be in college, doing well and on my way to a successful career, because my own parents never had that chance.

The holiday has made me thankful for many things that we as a society often take for granted.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Lend a helping hand to someone, donate to an organization, or do anything to take a small part in changing someone’s holiday for the better this season!