I joined Gonzaga University in August 2018 not knowing that a year later I might be the most academically perplexed student yet the most content/ perplexed student on campus. I am originally from Vancouver, Canada but have studied at the University of Hawaii prior to transferring to GU. Academically I should be in my Sophomore year but taking many GU Freshman classes.
In preparing for the Fall semester of 2018, I knew exactly what classes I needed to take, when I needed to take them and how I am going to achieve my success into acceptance to medical school. As a transfer student too I knew I had transfer credits which would propel my graduation date even sooner. You can imagine how shocked I was when I went to my academic adviser at the end of Fall and found out I am missing core course credits that are GU required such as Religion, Philosophy, Communications and Language. None of these courses were ever asked of me at UH Manoa, none!
I fought with the departments knowing I wouldn’t win, but fought anyways. All the unnecessary thoughts went through my head (and mouth): why do I need Religion? Philosophy? Why are you treating me like I am a true freshman? Why are you derailing me from my academic schedule? Knowing my fight was lost, I bit the bullet (hard) and enrolled into those “truly waste of time” courses.
Would you believe me if I said those classes were my favorite?! And that because of those classes I feel more “whole” as a person than ever before?
GU’s curriculum exemplifies “learning community” where students are taught to be well-rounded students who has care not only for themselves but care of others. I never would have thought it a year ago but prior to GU I was a selfish student. I had one focus: 4.0 GPA in all the Sciences. In reflection, I don’t think any medical school would accept a student with those goals!
A year into GU I feel like the most fulfilled, content, perplexed, baffled student on campus. This is because GU is a school which opens many doors for students, a school which encourages students to try things that are out of your comfort zone. GU encourages students to EXPLORE THE COMMUNITY because community is what GU is!
As the Mission states, “Gonzaga University is an exemplary learning community that educated students for lives of leadership and service for the common good.” Read in another way, GU exemplifies unselfish students; students who put others ahead of themselves and are not so narrowly focused that they cannot see past GPAs. No way better to express this than the GU mantra of “cura personalis” which is Latin for “care for the whole person.”
So, where will I be a year from now? I HAVE NO IDEA! But I do have faith in GU and that I WILL succeed in the bigger picture, a caring unselfish member of COMMUNITY!
-Jalasia Lau, BioChem Major