Get to know Matt James, an aspiring PharmD candidate who just finished his freshman year at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia. He was involved with activities at U Sciences like Resident Hall Council, Philipino Club, Student Ambassadors, and Gay Straight Alliance. He greatly enjoyed his time at school, so much so that he’s going back before the fall semester. Take a look at our one-on-one interview!
Patch: In three words, how would you describe your freshman year experience?
MJ: challenging, enlightening, freeing
Patch: What was one highlight of your freshman year?
MJ: Because my school is in the city, it’s really easy to travel, so on the weekends my friends and I were able to take mass transit to different parts of Philadelphia. One weekend we went ice-skating at the Penn’s Landing ice skating rink. It was the first time I was able to go out with my friends, completely independent in the city. It was weekend trips like that that I enjoyed the most.
Patch: What’s it like going to school on a city campus?
MJ: Since my school is small, it has it’s own campus, but it’s still in the middle of the city. It’s different from other city schools because you still have the campus feel, but once you walk off the campus you’re in the heart of a city. It’s really easy to get around.
Patch: How many times did you come home over the year?
MJ: Aside from major breaks, probably only 3 or 4 times. I didn’t always like coming home because it’s distracting to study at home and there a lot more rules than what I’ve become used to at college.
Patch: What are you up to for the summer?
MJ: Currently, I’m working at Kocina Pilipina to have some money for the upcoming semester, but in a week I’m going back to Philly to take a summer chemistry course. That runs until the end of the summer and then the fall semester will begin. I’ll be renting an off-campus apartment there and that will be a new experience for me, living totally on my own.
Patch: What’s it like being home since you’ve been away for a year?
MJ: There’s definitely a different feel to it, like I don’t fit in completely like I did before. I feel like I have more self-responsibility than before I left for college. I’m so happy to see my family, but I feel that my parents are still trying to hold me in as a child, but I want to be treated as an adult.
Patch: What are you looking forward to in the upcoming year?
MJ: I’m going to be living in a suite-style dorm with my friends, where we’ll have our own kitchen and two private bathrooms, so I’m excited because we’ve already arranged for having family dinners on Saturdays. It’s going to be nice to have a homier place to live than just a college dorm.
Patch: Any advice you can offer to high school graduates as they head off to college this fall?
MJ: College is going to be more fun and more freedom than you can possibly imagine. You’re going to meet friends there that think the same way as you and there aren’t any parents around to tell you what to do. But that just means it’s more on you to take responsibility and remember what you’re there for, while enjoying yourself at the same time.