Leaving Norway during the pandemic left me filled with uncertainties. First, I had to go to France to get my US VISA since the border closures prevented me from going home to Senegal. With God’s grace, it was granted to me, and now, about 5 month later, I can assert that Macalester College in Saint Paul Minnesota is my new home for the next four years of undergraduate life.
2020 being similar to no other year, my college experience described in one word would be Zoom. From classes to events, meeting people, and building connections, life has never been more virtual. Nevertheless, I am grateful for how my first semester at College has turned out.
I applied and got into a civic engagement group on campus called Lives of Commitment. Joining them gave me the opportunity to volunteer at a kid’s homework center, Skyline. Every Tuesday and Thursday, I help one or two kids with their homework from 2 to 3 p.m. I learnt a lot about patience, kindness, and compassion working with kids on problems that are easy for me but a real struggle for them.
Alongside my work at skyline, I also applied and got into the Student Academic Affairs Committee of the college. Here I meet with other students and staff members to discuss and find solutions to issues and concerns that impact student life at Macalester.
In addition, I have been journaling for the College Archives for a semester, as part of a project that seeks to represent more voices from minorities or groups that are often discriminated against. I wrote from a standpoint of a Black Muslim woman, Senegalese, and first generation student. I also wrote a couple of articles published in the College weekly newspaper.
This semester, I will join the Admission office as an International Student Ambassador for Macalester. I hope to interact with prospect students and help them get to know the college better.
My time at RCN has certainly helped me a lot to get all these beautiful opportunities. I still have a lot to learn and discover here at Mac and could not be more excited. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just want to talk.
Anna Sene (RCN 2020)