Student: Kevin Yu | College: Wake Forest University
Introduction: Hey, Kevin here. I am studying at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA. I am currently a freshman and I have not declared a major yet. I am planning to apply for business school next year with a major of accounting or finance. I might also double major in computer science if I could handle the workload. I remember back in high school, I felt very uncertain about my career path. I had many interests yet I didn’t know which path I should choose as a major in college. Vinnie was the one who encouraged me to further develop my interests and see how I like them. During the four years in high school, computer science and economics stood out as the subjects that I saw the most success in. He suggested me to start my own computer science club which launched a very successful mobile application. And I was very knowledgeable in economics. With Vinnie’s help during my application process, I demonstrated my accomplishments in the subjects of my interest to the colleges that I applied to. And that brought me right into the gate of my dream school.
1.) Please tell me about your experience at Wake Forest.
College really allows one to have a lot of “alone time.” Not having 8+ hours of classes like high school forces students to learn to manage his/her time. Classes in college are definitely way more challenging than high school classes. The professor really doesn’t give you much time to process the material before moving on during lectures. There will be a lot of self-studying in dorm room and library in your college life. One of the professors that I had was very hard on her students; she would give students C’s and think that’s a perfectly good grade to have. I was very stressed with my grade for that class before I realized that there was nothing I can do but keep working. I ended up getting a decent grade in her class and I knew that I shouldn’t blame myself because I tried as hard as I could. Most of my nights in college are spent in the library till midnight. But I made sure that studying doesn’t completely take over my life and get in the way of my own interests. I go to the gym every other day with a 2-hour weight lifting. As a photography enthusiast, I made sure that I go out for a photoshoot either by myself or with friends every two weeks. I also kept myself busy with my other interests like volleyball during weekends. I would occasionally go to parties on Friday nights when I need a rest from all the studying.
2.) What’s the international community like there?
Wake’s student body is definitely quite diverse. There are many student groups for Chinese, Indians, Muslims, etc. I am a part of the CSSA, a Chinese student organization at Wake. We would host many events throughout the semester such as celebrations for the various Chinese festivals.
3.) What is the best thing about studying there so far? What do you find unique about the university or surprising maybe…
The best thing about Wake is probably how accessible the professors are. The biggest class that I had was about 30 students and some classes go as small as 10 students. My professors are able to answer questions at any point of the class if a student gets confused on the material. All of my professors offer office hours to answer questions on homework, returned test papers or questions about their grades. I remember my economics professor took the time to chat with me for an hour on a Friday afternoon before she goes for the weekend. The professors at Wake are really enthusiastic about teaching.
4.) What are some activities you’re involved with there? Briefly describe…
I am involved in many media work and sports teams. I am a proud member of “the Media,” a student-run organization that helps make many promotion videos and photos for various clubs and for the school. The videos and photos from us are posted to the school’s website and the school social media accounts as a way for future applicants to get to know the school. The Media also covers sports games such as college football, basketball, soccer and hockey. I am a photographer and videographer under the Wake Forest CSSA, or Chinese Student and Scholars Association. I help film and document events held by the CSSA. My photos and videos get posted to the CSSA official accounts to showcase the work that CSSA is doing to entertain and connect Chinese students at Wake. I am also a part of a Volleyball club. But I am only doing volleyball for fun. We play with other teams inside the school every two weeks.
5.) What’s your favorite local food since you’ve been there?
The dining hall serves different food every day, but I would say I like our breakfast omelet.
6.) What advice would you give to other Chinese students planning to attend university in America?
Set a goal and focus on it. Don’t study hard, study smartly. You should try to free yourself from the things you don’t actually enjoy doing. If you don’t like a class, don’t take it. If you don’t like your major, try another one. Go pursue what you really love to do even though you know you can’t fully dedicate to it yet. For me, photography is a great thing to do when I have some free time. Don’t forget to connect to people as much as possible. And, don’t forget the priorities—go work out your body while you are young.