Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post by Kettering freshman Charles ‘Chaz’ Mancino. Chaz, who is from Fredonia, NY, and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering, will occasionally post his thoughts about his freshman year experiences on Life at Kettering. If you’d like to write a guest blog post, e-mail phayes(at)kettering(dot)edu. Chaz’s other posts: Post 1 | Post 2 | Post 3 | Post 4 | Post 5 | Post 6 | Post 7 | Post 8 | Post 9 | Post 10 | Post 11
Two academic terms + two work terms = one year. Wow, that went fast.
What a year. I have hurdled two academic and work terms, helped build a game-changing formula SAE car, and starred in my own blog. To think, it was only last July that I entered an eager, yet somewhat timid, freshman on Kettering University’s campus. I guess the statement, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” holds true.
Let me back-up for a minute or two. Out of all of the colleges and universities that I visited and had in mind, why did I choose Kettering University? Was it due to the co-op program? The staff members and students? The cornucopia of possible opportunities? Well, it was a mixture of those things, among others. Take, for example, the opportunities that I have had to excel both in and outside of the classroom. Whether it was completing several difficult classes in just three months or building an SAE formula car that has made the competition drive away scared, I have had more than one opportunity to show the world what I have got to offer. What is more impressive is that I have done all of that in just one year. As a freshman. Amazing.
I still remember my high school teachers being eager to find out where I was going to wind up at after I graduated high school. I clearly remember one of my math teachers stopping me to ask if I had made up my mind yet. When I told her that my decision was between Kettering University and another school, she told me that she knew which one I really wanted to go to. She knew me well.
After I had made my decision, my English teacher asked me where I was going to attend college. After I told her, her reaction was that Flint is a college town. Maybe it is not a college town just yet, but with many other colleges, along with Kettering University, it is easy to see why one might think that. It is, in fact, the college students who are causing Flint to enter its Renaissance.
First off, I do not think that Flint will ever become a city bursting with energy like it once did. Oh, no, not at all. Instead, with places like Kettering University, I can see Flint emerging with a new kind of spirit that is fed by a different kind of energy. Young adults attending Kettering University who plan on making a positive impact on the world will create some of this new energy. These young adults have chosen a hard path, but they will make the Flint community and the rest of the world erupt with a bright new energy called hope. Other individuals that will make a positive impact on the world are the past and future students of Kettering University who have started or will start on building a brighter future. Just like my freshman year at Kettering University has shown, the world can be changed, if ever so slightly, in just one year. By just one person. Think about that.
Looking to my future, I can expect it to be mostly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms here and there. The next step before I enter Kettering University as a full blown sophomore is the formula SAE competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, from June 19-22, 2013. As the two previous competitions before the one in Lincoln have shown, our formula SAE car for the 2013 season is locked, loaded, and gunned towards the best formula SAE teams in the world. One can just imagine the beads of sweat that balled up on the best teams’ members’ necks as our comeback car breathed down their cars’ backs during the last two competitions, and the Kettering University Formula SAE team hopes to have another competition just like that.
Along with looking forward to the SAE competition in Lincoln, I can also look forward to coming home and visiting with friends and family before I embark on another academic term. Just like this past year, I fully expect to be immersed in classwork and studying during the academic terms while being hard at work during the work terms. I also hope to take on a bigger role on the formula SAE team. As I gain knowledge from the academic terms, I will be able to apply it to both the formula car and my co-op. After three months of school, I will migrate back to my co-op and start working five days a week again. Then school again. Then work. Then school, and so on and so forth. What the upcoming school year will bring is well beyond me, but I know that I will continue to satisfy my hunger for knowledge and experience as I crawl up in life and become a C.E.O., an entrepreneur, or the greatest engineer that the world has ever seen.
As the sun sets on another school year, I am still very excited because I know that it will rise again. My life will change, as it always has, with a new year that is aching to be discovered, waiting to be opened like a gift on Christmas. Whatever it may bring, I will be ready. After all, what is in a year? Maybe the better question is what is in a day, as the time between when the sun rises and sets brings a multitude of surprises and changes that mimic the kinds of surprises and changes that run rampantly throughout a year. Those surprises and changes will ignite emotions and ideas that will erupt from the minds of many individuals with a common goal of improving the world.
The sun has set. Good night, Kettering University. See you in the morning.