June 24, 2016-SYRINE AOUADI Contributing Writer
I am Syrine Aouadi, an international student from Tunisia, North Africa. I am studying entrepreneurship at MiraCosta College. I was fortunate to receive the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship from the United States in order to study abroad and learn how to become a better leader for my country as well as for myself. From the first day in the USA, I was excited and happy to be independent and free, but I never forgot to prioritize my goals. Achieving my entrepreneurship certificate, volunteering, and last but not least having an internship in the Small Business Development Center were my three different goals.
Accomplishing these objectives made me the person that I am now, a person who will never be the same again. Working towards these goals was definitely challenging. For one, growing up as an only child made me dependent on my mother, however, living in the United States has made me stronger and more mature than I was before. I faced the obstacle of adapting to a new culture. A culture far different from what I thought. The International Club succeeded in helping me have a better understanding of several cultures of the world not just America.
I learned from experiences at MCC how to be open to every opportunity, how to just go for it by taking action and not wait for anyone to tell you what to do in your life, and most importantly, be the leader of your own life. If you want to be president of a club, a peer leader, a tutor, go for it. Another important fact is that asking for help is not a weakness but a way to find new ways of managing what you are struggling with and finding enough knowledge to succeed. I took advantage of services that the college offered me. Visiting the Career Center helped me find an internship and it helped me develop my resume and cover letter. The Service Learning Center was helpful in finding volunteering opportunities. Two of my favorites I was fortunate enough to be part of were the STREAM Festival and the fund raising activities to help victims of the earthquake in Japan. I have never felt this proud in my whole life. I realized that no act of kindness, no matter how small, such as drawing a smile on a child’s face or donating one penny could definitely make a huge difference. It changes people’s life.
With all the services, clubs, and the adorable staff I can definitely say that MiraCosta made me feel visible and involved. Being Part of a community helped me achieve goals I set for myself when I first came to the United States. It was an unforgettable student life experience for me and I am looking forward to implementing the skills I have learned academically, professionally, and personally to my own community back home in Tunisia. MiraCosta will always be an inspiration to me.
A huge thank you to my host Adviser Mia Scavone, Coordinator, Institute for International Perspectives for being there for me and supporting me every step of the way. You Rock!