Get to know Sam Wereszczak, an aspiring medical professional who just finished her freshman year at West Chester University. She kept busy as a member of the West Chester University Dance Team, competing and participating in charity events with the team. She’s enjoying her time at home, but is looking forward to returning to West Chester in the fall. Take a look at our one-on-one interview!
Patch: In three words, how would you describe your freshman year experience?
SW: crazy, enlightening, self-discovery
Patch: What was a highlight of your year at West Chester?
SW: Going to UDA Nationals in Florida and placing 5th in the Nation with the WCU Dance Team. We also went to the Disney Parks, so it was a team bonding experience too. It was a different experience than high school Nationals because the level of difficulty was much more extreme. It was different experiencing it as an adult than as a child, because we don’t have a coach since we’re a student-run dance team. We were proud of ourselves for placing 5th, as well as getting ourselves to Florida. It was my first experience as an independent adult, because we didn’t have parents as chaperones, and I was just thrust into this new experience.
Patch: You said the Dance Team is student run… what’s that like?
SW: We do all our own fundraising, to get uniforms and pay for our trip to Nationals. We also pay for our choreographers for our routines. We have captains and they act as the team leadership. There are other positions like treasurer, secretary and social coordinator to help keep the team running. I hope to be captain in my senior year, as well as run for secretary my junior year.
Patch: What’s it like being on the Dance Team at West Chester?
SW: It was nice to meet and bond with people with similar interests. I also wasn’t as nervous going into freshman year because I knew people going in because I met them when I made the team the summer going into college. Being grouped with the sports teams at a college led me to meet other athletes and I’m really grateful that it was easier for me to meet people at school and that led me to make great friendships.
Patch: How did being on a college sports team affect your college experience?
SW: You definitely want free time in college, but you don’t want too much. Being on a team definitely reined me in and made me focus more on my studies. It helped me remember what was important. The time that I had off from practices I knew I had to spend studying, so dancing really helped me with time management. You don’t have parents telling you to do all that stuff, you only have yourself.
Patch: How many times did you come home over the year?
SW: Including breaks, I came home about five times. A few long weekends, because I was sick or for a friends birthday, because it’s only about an hour and a half away. Over winter break I was ready to come because I just needed a break; I was happy to see the people at home. When I was sick I was the most homesick because I just wanted to eat soup and sleep in my own bed! Other than that, I liked being on my own and being independent.
Patch: What are you up to for the summer?
SW: I’m taking classes at Mercer County Community College; Anatomy I for the first half of summer, and Anatomy II for the second half because I’m switching my major so I want to stay on track. I’m also working at Charlie Brown’s off of Rt. 130 as a hostess and I’m in training to be a server.
Patch: What’s it like being home since you’ve been away for a year?
SW: It feels good to be home, but I miss all my college friends and I almost feel like I’m not doing anything here! I’m busy with class and work, but it’s a different vibe not being surrounded by college kids. I miss it.
Patch: What are you looking forward to in the upcoming school year?
SW: I’m looking forward to taking on another year with my dance team, as well as some more focused classes within my major. I’m also excited because I’m going on a spring break trip to Punta Cana with my friends, which is why I’m saving up! I’m just excited to get back into my college routine!
Patch: Any advice you can offer to high school graduates as they head off to college this fall?
SW: Get involved in something--it will help you meet people with similar interests. Study, a lot, because you’re going to need it to do well. College is a lot harder than high school because you need a lot of self-discipline. Also just do you; be with people you want to be with and do what you want to do. And, finally, take advantage of this experience because you only have four years. It’s supposed to be the best four years of your life and I know this past year has been the best one of mine.