Some Thoughts on the New Year

Creative commons photo by Flickr user James Almond

First of all, we're still recruiting new writers for the Student Union team in 2013-14! It's been great to hear from many of you writing in with questions about what being a contributor would mean, the kinds of projects you can work on and the like. All questions are fair game, so just write me now and I'll get back with you as soon as I can. We have big hopes for the coming year, and are already at work on a bunch of new ideas.

Probably the most common question we get here - other than the basics of getting admitted to a U.S. school! - is what kinds of stories and topics you would be working on if you join in with us this year. It's a great question: is this blog a place to help students from around the world get admitted to a U.S. school, or help find funding for it? Is it a place to share first-hand stories - funny, sad and everything in between - from current and former international students about their experiences? Is it a place to learn about American slang, or how to navigate all the cultural differences that pop up when people from all around the world wind up together?

The answer is yes, yes, and yes. And chances are, yes to a lot of the other ideas you have! Some of you, like me, are probably new to the Student Union. While that means we both have a lot to learn, we also have a great opportunity to help teach and learn from each other and build something exciting together.

Last night I was kicking some ideas around with a close friend. "Let's say I'm an international student from India. I meet a young woman on campus and we have a good talk for a few minutes, when she tells me to text her. So does that mean, 'yeah let's be friends', or does it mean 'hey maybe we should date' or is she just being nice?"

Good question, said my pal. And seeing as we're both at least 20 years out of college, we had no idea. But I bet you do!

Or how about debates about current events. "If I were studying from overseas here in the U.S., what would I be thinking about the current debates about Syria?" he asked.  A whole lot of different things, I said. What exactly? Well, we could guess, but I'd much rather hear directly from you.

So to that end, how about if we had a Google video hangout to share your thoughts with each other on exactly that topic? And you know, that's not a bad idea.

The point is that there are a lot of good ideas about what we can do together here in the Student Union. That's why I'm so eager to hear from you. Email me today to join up, and let's start giving some of these ideas a try.

It's just crazy enough that it might really work!