Photo: Life as a Walton Student

Life as a Walton Student

First-Year Reflections


Thursday, February 15, 2018

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New experiences come into our lives to help us learn something new about different topics. Some people start to live in another city, others start working or try to learn a new language, but imagine a new experience that is going to include starting your college life in another country, different types of food, and new people and a language that you are not totally familiar with.  Sounds challenging, but this is what it is like to be a Walton student. Big challenges in our lives make us warriors. This is something that one of my best friends always told me to confront this new adventure, and now I am always happy about different ways that I have to increase my worldview.  This is the way I look at this experience. It is a great way for me to gather knowledge from a place I am not familiar with, but also I am so excited to start my academic tenure in one of the best American Colleges.  It is scary, but also extremely exciting.

I’m now seeing all the advantages of being a good student in Costa Rica.  This helped me differentiate myself and become one of the three Walton students to be selected from my country to study in the United States this year. The Walton procedure was full of interviews, exams and filling out information. Every Walton student has a special value that our director saw to be here and create a change for Central America in the future.  Our purpose out of all of this is to develop skills here and hopefully use those skills to help my country.  Back home one of the values that helped separate me from the rest of the pack was that I was involved in leadership groups such as boy scouts in Costa Rica as a coordinator and then a leader of a little group who was given the privilege of traveling to Japan to represent our culture. Also leadership camps in my high school, good grades and volunteering in the Children National Association made me see the world with other eyes, and with this broad knowledge of the world I hope to instill this into JBUs culture.

Leaving my home was hard, all my life I have been close to my family members, and even though this is not the first time I have left my family, it is the hardest.  Nine months is a long time, and I try to facetime my parents 3-4 times a week to keep them updated on how I am doing.  Here in America I am out of my comfort zone being away from my family and culture.  Being out of my comfort zone I can appreciate the actions that my mom did for me and I did not see it.  Now I am careful with my body, eating healthy, exercising because my mom was always cooking for me in a balanced way and here I am noting how important that is. But I have to do it by myself now.  Also I am washing my own clothes, buying my personal things and saving money as well and making my own decisions, creating my schedule. This is so different to me because my mother was always waking me up in the morning and nowadays my cellphone is doing it.

The other Walton’s are a strong support for me because they are always able to explain different class topics when I am confused or they share some tips when they were a freshman too. I have a really good relationship with all the other guy Walton Students so I am learning how they organize everything in the week and also when they planned to take time to procrastinate and totally relax. The "crew"(my group of friends) always include me if we want to go to downtown, play Uno, go to “La Huerta” or just talk.  They are my support system.

 I am always excited to learn and I know here in JBU I will discover different parts of life and also parts of myself that I did not have any idea about. My goals are still changing, and I cannot wait to go to Costa Rica and share all my experiences. I really want to make all the people who always believed in me very proud, not only my family members or my friends, but also all the team who is involved with this amazing program.

Blog HomePosted By: Jesus Madrigal - 2/15/18 4:00 PM



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