Meet Sean - Class of 2016
Major: Chemical Engineering (College of Engineering)
Class Year: Junior
Hometown: Trenton, FL
We sat down with Sean and asked him a few questions about about his college experience. This is what he shared...
What is your favorite thing about USF?
You have to make me pick? There is not just one thing I love. The teaching staff is really good. I love going to all the sporting events on campus. That’s probably my favorite part about being here
What is your favorite thing about living on campus?
I get to be in the community. Everything I need is right around me. It’s all within walking distance. Since I am part of a community it’s easy to find out what’s going on, where and when.
How did you prepare for college?
That is something that is difficult to say. I came from a small high school. My graduating class was about 50 people. I expected to meet new people here. When I first came here I was shocked. I came to Chem I and saw 200-300 students in the classroom. It was a shock.
How did you adapt?
I just sat up in the front row. I got my pens, pencils, and notebooks out and pretended like the people weren’t there. I can see how some people who graduate with 300 people in their graduating class would not see it as much of a change.
Where have you lived on campus?
I live in Kosove Hall. It’s in the center of campus. Any one thing isn’t too far away. Classes are easy to get to. If I need something to eat, it’s right next door. Everybody just does their own thing. You see people on a random basis. I don’t necessarily like that, but I am spending a good majority of my time this semester studying. I have to keep up with everything. All of my friends like to stay in the room. I like to go out and do everything that I can.
Do you have any advice for new students?
Try and be involved, even if you can’t do it all the time. At least pick something and try and keep active in the community. That’s essentially what the college experience is: being active in a community. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Are you involved in any organizations on campus?
I am the Vice President of the Aikido at USF club. It’s a martial arts club. We train. We learn about the human body and how it reacts to physical and mental confrontation. We can use different philosophies and put them in real-life situations. We learn not to be stopped by confrontation. It’s a really interesting learning experience. The organization is trying to get more of the community to join.
I am an active member of the Beef Studs. We normally paint ourselves for major events like football games. We get painted up in green and gold to show our spirit for the school. For homecoming this year, we did purple paint. It’s our third color that not many people know about. It was a really fun experience. We generally are rowdy at any kind of sporting event. Everyone is high energy, loud, happy (or mad depending on what’s going on). We are there to support our sports teams. A few weeks back I went to a women’s tennis match for the first time. It was a new experience for me, not the organization. I like being in the beef studs. It is my opportunity to be loud and obnoxious and is a good way for me to relieve stress from class work and life in general.
I am also a member of AICHE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). Over the past few weeks, I have been helping weekly with the Chemi-Car. It is powered by a chemical reaction. Every year there is a competition between different institutions. USF placed in the last competition. The organization has general body meetings once a month. They also encourage us to network with professionals in the field.
Do you volunteer?
I do relay for life. I have been doing it since my senior year of high school. I approve of funding cancer research, even if we may never find a cure. We can prolong life or at least we can lessen the pain of those suffering.
I donate blood. I don’t do it for the free t-shirts, though they always give them out. I just like donating.
I am going to try and volunteer at the hospital in the future. I want to help whenever and wherever I can.
I did Stampede of Service this year. I want to do more than a single event.
I also like to volunteer my time helping my fellow students with their academics.
I also volunteered for Bull Haul. I was stationed in the Argos area working in the afternoon. It’s a way for me to give back to the school and get students excited about being here and living on campus. I think that’s honestly why I wanted to do it and why I continue to do it.
I will definitely do it in the future.
Why is it important to volunteer?
The way I see it is: No one is going to force you to volunteer. Everybody needs to give time or money without expecting anything in return. Everyone needs to be altruistic at least for some part of their life. I believe it’s best to give without expecting anything in return. For me, it gives me a good feeling, like I am doing something worthwhile.
What should incmoing students do to prepare for the residential experience on campus?
Don’t expect to bring everything that you want. Especially for those who have a lot of stuff! Chances are it won’t all fit. Bring what you know you need. Then bring what you can after you move in. I didn’t bring a lot of stuff. I could easily bring more to my room later. I could fit a lot more stuff than I thought I could. After you have moved in and met your roommates you can look at bringing more to campus.
Try and learn a little more about who you are living with before you come to campus. You get your roommate assignments before you move in. Find out who is doing what and figure out more about who they are. You can get to know them. I never got a response from my roommate over the summer. But I met him on the first day and we became friends. We weren’t in the room that often. We tried to get out to explore.
What advice do you have for parents that will help them support their students prior to moving in?
That’s a really good one. Honestly, my parents are a little different from most people I know. They accepted the fact that I was going to be living on campus, about 200 miles from home. They let me do my own thing. They knew I was going to just explore the area on campus and off. They let me be for a while after they helped me move in. They took me out to lunch after we moved in. They talked with me then we said our goodbyes. I liked being able to explore the campus and see everything. As much as I do love my parents, there are times when I have to be by myself. One thing parents will have to eventually get used to is that their babies won’t need them all the time anymore. I know my mom had trouble with that the first couple of weeks. She was calling a lot. I had to tell her, “Mom, I’m okay.” I check in on her and she checks in on me now a few times a month.
From the student’s perspective, I can understand why they want to talk to their parents all the time. But you shouldn’t cling to your parent’s too much. What you are doing here is trying to become a professional after you have gained the knowledge. It’s a maturing process.
What do you plan to do after you earn your degree?
I’m probably going to try and find a job. I plan to use my AICHE to help me network. I don’t know where it’s going to take me and I don’t necessarily care where it takes me. I know it will put me somewhere and I don’t necessarily have to know where that is. My goal is to eventually work for Pfeizer. They are a large pharmaceutical corporation. It’s a way for me to help people indirectly. For me, personally, I couldn’t be a doctor. I wouldn’t be able to tell someone I don’t know what’s wrong with them. So, why not just take what I can do and help people indirectly through pharmaceuticals.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your USF experience?
I have been having the time of my life in college. It’s been a huge change coming from a town with one red light. I definitely wouldn’t want to be in any place other than USF. I would yell GO BULLS right now, but we are in an office.