CWR Student’s Forum
My Summer Bridge Experience
By Ebonnye Jackson
I will be a freshman at the University of California, Riverside this fall and will be writing about my college experience. Hopefully, you will read each article to experience my first year journey. I attended UCR Summer Bridge. This program prepares students to transition from high school to college. I took an English course that contained a lecture and discussion. I was required to take additional classes (Introduction to University Life and Speech) and participate in student activities. I also lived on campus for seven weeks, this summer. Overall, I gained maturity and intelligence throughout my fun Summer Bridge experience.
The purpose of the English lecture class was to prepare students to meet college writing expectations. Unlike high school teachers who require detailed essays, my college professors want me to write simple and specific essays. My professor stated that the challenge is to break the “AP [Advance Placement] English Syndrome” in order for freshmen students to write proficiently throughout their life. As a result, I fulfilled the writing expectations by passing the final exam.
In addition, the discussion class allowed students to understand the basics of writing such as properly organizing sentences and using correct punctuations and prepositions. Nevertheless, the discussion class helped me avoid making common writing errors.
Furthermore, the speech class improved students’ communication skills. I learned about voice pitch, tone variation, building self-esteem, and eye contact. Despite my shyness in high school, I learned to confidently speak in public.
Introduction to University Life informed students about the college campus. For instance, I learned about the resources available for students: libraries and spiritual, ethnic, career, learning centers. Also, the professor taught me various ways to manage time by using a planner. It is essential for students to use planners to organize their time and use the campus resources.
Summer Bridge students were also obligated to attend activities that enabled students to communicate with others and learn about themselves. The activities challenged my trust as I depended on my partners to help win a game. I learned to have faith as I conquered my fear of heights by jumping off a ledge. I found similar interests with people I met during the activities. These activities helped me build friendships and take advantage of every opportunity.
As a result of living on campus, I learned to live with my roommate and interact in a diverse community. I established many friendships, and attended exclusive events. I also learned to manage my time and maintain good grades. Living on campus allowed easy access to sources required for my classes such as group meetings at the study lounge. On-campus housing disadvantages include disgusting food or drama, yet it teaches students gratitude and requires maturity. Nevertheless, college freshmen will mature in a diverse environment that enhances their social skills and educational accomplishments.
Summer Bridge prepared me to be successful in college. I recommend Summer Bridge for eligible students because the program gives students an idea of college life. At the end of my experience, I hiked a mountain for the first time with other students in the program. Physically climbing on top of a mountain proved that I will succeed in all that I do, no matter how difficult it is to reach my goal.
Bring snacks (i.e.: Tyson cooked chicken wings, cup of noodles, bottled water, Capri Suns, fruit cups) because college food is not always good.
Communicate and respect your roommate.
Continuously encourage yourself
Participate! DO the unthinkable…DO NOT MISS OUT on lifetime opportunities!
BE WISE and HAVE FUN!