Skip to Main Content
MyLifeAtMC-blog-banner

Student Bloggers

Why I'm walking

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Clad in a black graduation gown and a cap that never seemed to fit, I walked across the stage at DAR Constitutional Hall. It was my high school graduation. I remember grumbling about how meaningless walking across the stage was, and complaining about how the importance placed on the graduation ceremony was merely a social construction. The only reason I walked across that stage in high school was because everyone else did it. It was the expected thing. But, taking part in the high school graduation ceremony held no special meaning for me. Looking back, it was partly because in high school, I took nearly every class with the same cohort of students who were part of my high school’s magnet program. After the magnet program held its own graduation, there was a sense of finality to my high school journey. So it is no surprise that the actual graduation ceremony seemed meaningless. 

This May will be my second time walking across that graduation stage. I do not know how well the cap will fit this time, but I am definitely excited to walk across the stage and announce to the world that I am a graduate of Montgomery College. My indifference about graduation during high school is now replaced with the bittersweet notion that my journey at Montgomery College has ended. Though I was part of an honors program here at Montgomery College, the Montgomery Scholars program, I never felt as if I was only a Montgomery Scholar. I always felt like a Montgomery College student who happened to be a Montgomery Scholar.

My experiences at Montgomery College were very positive. I felt very welcome here. From the library staff who patiently explained how to look up books in the college’s catalog to students who helped me navigate the campus in the first few days, everyone contributed to me having a very welcoming experience. I felt as if I were a member of the Montgomery College community within just the first few days. What made Montgomery College special was the amount of diversity present on campus. People of different ethnicities, countries, socio-economic status and people from different walks of life contributed to me having an enjoyable college experience here. From socializing with students to discussing philosophical issues to taking part in various on-campus activities, I was opened to new ways of viewing the world. The students at Montgomery College really helped me grow, both as a student and as a person. They challenged me during class discussions, shared laughs with me, and took part in my intellectual journey at Montgomery College.

Walking with them on the graduation stage is the best way I can show how thankful I am for the students that populate the campus and made the past two years truly memorable. I want to walk because Montgomery College helped me take the first steps towards being a lifelong learner. After walking across the stage, I will not cease to be a Montgomery College student. Yes, it will be the culmination of my journey here, but the friendships I have made and the memories I have collected will always be a part of me.

----

I cannot believe this is the final blog post :( Thank you everyone for reading and being a part of this journey with me.

(A more concise version of this blog post will also appear in the MC Alumni Magazine - Insights)

 

Some sense of finality

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Sorry for posting late, I got caught in the end of the Semester rush and I figured blogging while only being semi-coherent would make my blog posts even harder to get through. So better late than never...

I have been searching for sense of finality. Some epochal moment where I can see my journey as a Montgomery Scholar and a Montgomery College student has come full circle. I am not sure why I am so desperate to find a narrative arc but I am. This week I was thinking that it might be a fundamental need we humans have for narratives - we look for them in stories, presidential campaigns, and I guess our own lives. I might be alone in that last one, I am not sure.

But I think I found some sort of a finality with the Brunch last Sunday for next years' incoming class. At the Brunch, current and past Scholars speak and give the incoming class with a sense of what the Scholars program is about. We presented a slideshow of our class' experience in the program in the past two years. There was the usual bout of nostalgia for the past two years that just flew by, the increasing reminders that I will be going in a different direction for the next two years than the twenty-three other students, and the realization that I have less and less time to talk to my professors and try to make more sense of the world.

But the Brunch was also meaningful for another reason. Two years ago, the Brunch was the first real interaction I had with the Montgomery Scholars program. I had only vaguely heard of it before applying and had no intention of attending when I first applied. I reluctantly attended the Brunch after my mother bugged me about it after finding an invitation in the mail. Talking to students who were then second year scholars, the different professors, and the general enthusiasm and energy everyone had for the program sold me right there. It is crazy to think that if it were not for those second year scholars, I never would have been on this wonderful journey of the past two years where I learned as much about myself as I did about the world.

Ever since that day, I have felt as if I have a responsibility to talk to the future class of Scholars about the program and my experience in it. Unfortunately, I could not attend last years' brunch because the Ethics Bowl competition was on the same day. Luckily, this year I was free. I went, presented the slideshow along with a friend and talked to some future Scholars and answered their questions. I feel like if I can reach out to one student who was in a similar position as me last year I would have made some sort of difference. So I think it is a little fitting that I went back to the event where it truly began.

Some sense of finality

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Sorry for posting late, I got caught in the end of the Semester rush and I figured blogging while only being semi-coherent would make my blog posts even harder to get through. So better late than never...

I have been searching for sense of finality. Some epochal moment where I can see my journey as a Montgomery Scholar and a Montgomery College student has come full circle. I am not sure why I am so desperate to find a narrative arc but I am. This week I was thinking that it might be a fundamental need we humans have for narratives - we look for them in stories, presidential campaigns, and I guess our own lives. I might be alone in that last one, I am not sure.

But I think I found some sort of a finality with the Brunch last Sunday for next years' incoming class. At the Brunch, current and past Scholars speak and give the incoming class with a sense of what the Scholars program is about. We presented a slideshow of our class' experience in the program in the past two years. There was the usual bout of nostalgia for the past two years that just flew by, the increasing reminders that I will be going in a different direction for the next two years than the twenty-three other students, and the realization that I have less and less time to talk to my professors and try to make more sense of the world.

But the Brunch was also meaningful for another reason. Two years ago, the Brunch was the first real interaction I had with the Montgomery Scholars program. I had only vaguely heard of it before applying and had no intention of attending when I first applied. I reluctantly attended the Brunch after my mother bugged me about it after finding an invitation in the mail. Talking to students who were then second year scholars, the different professors, and the general enthusiasm and energy everyone had for the program sold me right there. It is crazy to think that if it were not for those second year scholars, I never would have been on this wonderful journey of the past two years where I learned as much about myself as I did about the world.

Ever since that day, I have felt as if I have a responsibility to talk to the future class of Scholars about the program and my experience in it. Unfortunately, I could not attend last years' brunch because the Ethics Bowl competition was on the same day. Luckily, this year I was free. I went, presented the slideshow along with a friend and talked to some future Scholars and answered their questions. I feel like if I can reach out to one student who was in a similar position as me last year I would have made some sort of difference. So I think it is a little fitting that I went back to the event where it truly began.

Changing the Odds

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

"I read your blog post, Sairam. It was very well written". That's a compliment no matter who it comes from. But when Dr. Pollard, the President of the college, articulate and busy person that she is says that, my day is made. I met Dr. Pollard on Saturday along with the other students in the "Conversations of Consequence" class she teaches. In fact, the class has been meeting every Saturday for a few weeks to plan an event that raises awareness of critical issues facing our community like hunger, war, a lack of awareness of these issues, and a lost feeling of community.

There is something to be said about the kind of students Montgomery College attracts, many of whom are passionate about service learning and leaving a positive impact on the world. They are so passionate that they don't mind giving up part of their Saturdays to plan this event. I don't know many students that would give up their Saturdays, much less plan an event a week before finals. The interesting thing is, there are so many people like this at Montgomery College. I have met students like this in the Scholars program, in the Student Senate, and now in this class.

Perhaps it is that idealist streak every generation of college students has in them that drives students to do this. Whatever it is, I draw great strength from being around like minded people like this, because every time someone feels the need to complain about my generation and our "complacency", I can always point to individuals like this who are actively trying to make the world a better place.

It is students like this that make Montgomery College special. It is students like this that shatter the misconceptions people have about community college. And it is certainly students like this that have made my time at Montgomery College truly special. Aside from the life lessons that I have learned here, it is the friendships that I made with them that I will take with me after graduating my Montgomery College.

---

The event we are planning is called Changing the Odds and it is currently schedule for April 29! More details as they become available (and official) :)

    

 

1

Ren Pedroza small

René

Current Blogger

2

Katelynn Snyder Display Image

Katelynn

Current Blogger

3

Lauren Alford Display Image

Lauren

Current Blogger

4

Matt Hounsell Profile Pic

Matt

Current Blogger

5

Will Campbell Profile Pic

Will

Current Blogger

6

Anthony Lloyd Profile Pic

Anthony

Current Blogger


Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD

240-567-5000

©2014, Montgomery College