End of Semester Reflection

End of Semester Reflection

November 29, 2021 Uncategorized 31

We have reached the end of the semester! Take this time to reflect back on all of the work that you have done. What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?

31 Responses

  1. Cody Romani says:

    I cannot believe it is almost the end of the semester. This semester has been very challenging but worth it. Some of my goals at the beginning of the semester were to get to know more Bonners, come up with some fun bonding activities, and challenge myself. This semester, I have certainly gotten to know more Bonners personally and professionally. I have enjoyed having discussions with others and learning more about people’s sites. It was fun planning bonding activities and I was able to push myself throughout the semester. One challenge I faced this semester was time management. It was difficult to balance service and academics. However, I was able to use my google calendar and rely on the other program associates and administrators when I needed help. I also started serving at the Connect Center and am excited to start my capstone next semester. This has certainly been a challenging but fun semester.

  2. Samantha Gisleson says:

    My one Bonner-related goal at the beginning of this semester was to finish my capstone and be happy with the end results. I have faced one major challenge towards this goal and that is my health. Unfortunately I got sick several times this semester, which disrupted my capstone work and my other Bonner responsibilities. However, with just a couple of weeks left in the semester, I have completed the syllabus I hoped to create and am very close to finishing my paper, which I am co-writing with my faculty mentor. I have gained so much from this program, but one thing I specifically gained from the capstone experience was learning that it is okay to stop and ask for help when necessary (it takes a village). As this is my last semester, I will not be doing service next semester. However, I do have a few presentations as well as senior events to look forward to. Thank you all for making this program so amazing, and I can’t wait to see what you all do with the rest of your time at Siena and as Bonners! Blove always, Sam <3

    • Cody Romani says:

      Hi Sam G. I can’t believe you are graduating already. I am amazed at your resilience and determination throughout your capstone process. You have done great things for this program and I am glad I was able to meet you. I wish you luck as you begin a new journey outside Siena.

  3. Abeer Jafri says:

    This was one of the fastest semesters ever, but certainly a rewarding one! Academically and service-wise, I do feel I was able to reach some of my goals. I got well adjusted to the domestic violence office of Unity House, and learned a lot there. Something I gained from my service that I can use outside of Siena is advocating for myself and communication. I learned it is important to have clear communication to get your ideas heard; this will be valuable during our capstone projects, as well. A challenge I faced this semester was time management with school, service, and self-care; I overcame this by trying to do a little bit each day to limit things piling up at the last minute. Next semester, I am excited to get going with my Capstone; it will be hard work, but I am passionate about it, so I think it will be very rewarding to me and the community I serve!

  4. Nia Colon says:

    The goal that I had for myself at the beginning of the semesters was to relax and take time for myself. I think I did reach that goal in some aspects but in others, I was far from it. One challenge that I faced that made me further away from my goal was saying no to people. I found it hard to say no and take time for myself because I felt it was the wrong thing to do. I am very excited about my service next semester because I was able to pick my clinical specialty.

  5. Rachel+Gifford says:

    This semester my goals were to learn more about my site through in-person service and to learn how to balance service with full in-person class. I think that I achieved both goals and learned a lot more about my site and my work in general. I also was able to balance my schedule and I learned how to make it better for myself in upcoming semesters. I faced a lot of challenges because my schedule constantly changed and now I also had to learn how to balance a social life as well! Overall, I think I did learn how to balance it, but I also had to learn to prioritize better. One thing I gained from service was a better understanding of the Capital District and the region we are serving. I learned about what was happening in the community and the issues that my site faces and many other nonprofits face in accessing resources and navigating difficulties in the community. Next semester I see myself continuing the work I’m doing, but also learning more about how my site functions. I would like to be able to visit some of the pantries that make up Food Pantries and possibly go on a delivery so that I can see the other sides of my site.

    • Erin Spence says:

      Hey Rachel! It sounds like overall you had a great semester! I can imagine how challenging it was to navigate a normal college life after being virtual for so long, but you’ve made the most of it. I’m glad you’ve gotten to know the community more and I’m sure next semester will be even better.

  6. Ava Bibisi says:

    This semester has flown by and I can’t believe it is already December!! Not only has the semester gone by so fast, but I also have felt that it has been a very rewarding semester. I had several goals through nursing that I set for myself at the beginning, and I think I was really able to achieve them. I think that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone a lot this semester and it made me look at life, school, and service from a new perspective. I gained a lot of gratitude this semester and found myself learning to enjoy the little moments a lot more. Moving forward, I can see myself pushing myself even more and working even harder at more positive goals and setting the standards for myself that are out of my comfort zone, yet I know they will only allow me to be a better version of myself.

  7. Amanda Molloy says:

    It is crazy to think that the end of the semester is approaching so quickly. At my site this semester I feel very accomplished with the projects that have been completed. I was able to help plan and execute a gala to raise money for Spina Bifida by doing a lot of marketing and advertising work for my site. I went out of my comfort zone while doing these projects and feel that they really helped the people they were meant to help. I gained a sense of confidence in my ability to lead and use certain platforms online from my service this semester. As for next semester, I am studying abroad so service will look a little different but I still plan to help my site remotely for a few hours a week as well as serve in any way I can immerse myself while in Ireland.

  8. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    I’m not entirely sure how second semester senior year is here already, but it is! For me, this semester flew by. I set many goals for myself this semester — some I have achieved, some I am still working on, and some I have pushed to the wayside (going to the gym more being one of these). One challenge I faced this semester was balancing my classes and teaching. To say the least, it was challenging. To overcome it, I took it day by day. Despite the hardships I faced, I am grateful for what I have learned and experienced in student teaching thus far. I am thankful for my amazing, supportive, brillant cooperating teachers who help me navigate my first time teaching and who always support me. With that said, I am really looking forward to next semester when I am a full time teacher. Although the idea of me being in charge of 100 plus students is a bit daunting, it is a dream I have had since I was a little kid — and now it’s finally here 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for me.

    • Cody Romani says:

      Hi Nancy. This semester definitely flew by quickly. I am amazed at how you balanced classes and teaching this semester. You are a great Bonner and a hard worker. I am excited to see what you do as a teacher!

  9. Michael Averill says:

    It’s always difficult to know what to expect heading into a semester. I set lofty goals for myself back in August and I was excited to be back at Siena after some time away. Since then, however, my semester has changed dramatically with the passing of my friend and housemate Dom in late October. I shifted from working intensely on my Capstone project, being actively engaged in classes and service, and fulfilling my role as a CA, to slowing down completely and focusing on myself as I continue to navigate a sudden and heartbreaking loss. I have learned a lot about grief in the past couple weeks and I have endured a lot of unexpected changes in my life, whether it was moving off campus and commuting or no longer continuing in my role as a CA. And in the wake of those changes, I realized that I needed to change my goals for the semester too. I have reduced my academic workload and extracurricular commitments to ensure that I’m capable of making it through the semester without feeling too overwhelmed. My goal now is to finish up the semester strong, while being surrounded by friends and the supportive Siena community.
    Rest Easy Dom, you are greatly missed.

  10. Sarah Ahmed-Weidman says:

    My primary goal for this semester was to not procrastinate and take care of myself mentally. Looking back I think I could’ve done better, but I did the best that I could. Balancing work and social life have always been something I struggled with because would always place work first which is something I realized I needed to stop doing last semester and is something I have been working on this semester. Service-wise, my goal was to continue strengthening my relationship with my site especially because I am beginning my capstone in the spring-this is a goal that I accomplished well. My site has continued to help me improve my public speaking skills because they know my potential and push me to reach that and exceed it. There is no better feeling than having a site and partners that support you and I feel ecstatic to continue researching and beginning my capstone. I am excited to see what the next semester brings!

    • Erin Spence says:

      Sarah! I love these goals you set for yourself. It can be really challenging to prioritize self-care with so many other responsibilities, and this is something I have struggled with too. It sounds like you had a great semester at your service site and I’m excited to see your capstone start to come together!

  11. Tori Mangelli says:

    I would say that I reached a personal goal of getting more in shape and toning my body, which is something I’m very happy about. I think there were a lot of unforeseeable challenges this semester for everyone and can’t exactly say I’ve overcome them all. I think a big part of healing is giving yourself grace and treating your feelings as they come, which is what I’ve been trying to do. I’m super excited to work on my capstone more over the summer and in the fall (since I’m studying abroad) and think it will be very valuable towards my future career and further growth as a Bonner.

  12. Kayla McKay says:

    We have reached the end of the semester! Take this time to reflect back on all of the work that you have done. What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?

    This semester has been a roller coaster of obstacles however it has been filled with a lot of positive things as well. Some of my goals at the beginning of the semester included getting adjusted to my new site at FOCUS churches, being academically successful, and meeting new people. I accomplished my goal of adjusting to my new site at FOCUS churches and having a consistent routine along with a strong connection with my fellow supervisors. I have also met a lot of people this semester that has turned into beautiful friendships. Academics this semester was more than a challenge than I thought but I am content with how I am ending off. A new goal that has developed over this past semester is trying to give me more credit and take care of myself more. I learned that it is okay to take breaks and should not feel guilty about putting my mental health first. One challenge I faced this semester included making an effort to prioritize my mental health. The way I overcame this problem was by opening up to people about my stress and issues rather than bottling them up. Another step I took to prioritize my mental health was making an appointment with the counseling center. This step was very scary but it was more helpful than I thought. Something that I gained from service that can be used outside of Siena is my knowledge about food insecurity. Before going to my site, I was not very educated or well-rounded about food insecurity. With the knowledge, I have acquired I can educate others about food insecurity and how it is intertwined with other topics such as healthcare or housing. Next semester, I see myself gaining more of a leadership role whether it is in Bonner or my service site. I would love to open the idea about food prescriptions up to my service site as well.

  13. Brianna Rodriguez says:

    My goals for this semester were to get comfortable being in a new environment and working on time management. I was able to reach the goal of becoming comfortable being in a new space, but I’m still working on the time management goal. One challenge I faced was learning how to prioritize my mental health and not just ignoring my issues. I overcame this by talking to friends and family when I wasn’t feeling great and being better at not bottling up my emotions. One thing I gained from my service that I can use outside of Siena is advocating for myself in professional settings as well as in my personal life. Next semester, I see myself still doing a lot of the same work I do currently, but hopefully I can work more closely with my site supervisors and become familiar with some of the things they do to keep FOCUS Churches running.

  14. Annabelle Fisher says:

    When I got to Siena for summer gear up I had no idea what to expect from Bonner, or service, or even college. The first goals I set for myself was to figure out how to manage classes and Bonner, it seemed really overwhelming at the time. As the semester continued I met incredible people and made amazing memories and experienced a lot of new things. It was definitely a challenge for the first part of this semester holding myself to perfect grades and figuring out how college works and finding a place here, and then the second half of the semester brought challenges I had no idea how to face. My goals changed from all A’s to making it through my classes and not going home. That’s a place I never thought I would be, and I’ve definitely never focused so much on my own needs, mindset, and energy before. I took a break from service, but my goal that I’m working on now is getting back into my schedule and back into being present in my life in a positive space. I wouldn’t say I’ve really overcome anything, just trying really hard to find balance and happiness where I am.

    Random thought/ belief that stuck with me this semester: “Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.” -Leo Tolstoy

    My goal for next semester is to continue spreading love anywhere I can.

  15. Chandler Edbauer says:

    We have reached the end of the semester! Take this time to reflect back on all of the work that you have done. What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?
    I had goals to create outreach to the alumni and I think I developed further the connections between Bonners and Bonner Alumni. I was able to reach this goal and they change into helping Bonners generally develop professional skills. I think a challenge was getting a positive response from Bonners and alumni. It was hard to get people to respond and show interest but I was able to work around people and reach out separately to get a response. I gained mentoring experience and I look forward to helping others later in my service.

  16. Samantha Lunt says:

    My goals for this semester with quickly thrown off track from the beginning. I had to readjust and figure out what was going to work for me. I realized that sometimes a goal can be as simple as making it through the day. Sometimes I celebrated doing just that. One thing that I did reach was being able to recruit more freshman to join our class of 2025! This was a great experience learning how to coordinate, plan and schedule interviews and working on communication. I would say that I have been able to gain more confidence and learning how to advocate for myself through service and my time in Bonner this semester. I am excited for next semester, to be able to remember this semester and the hard time, but also how of the good moments that have come out of it. But, knowing that this semester will soon be over and next semester will be another opportunity for new beginnings is really exciting. I see myself continuing to grow and gaining new experiences and skills as I continue my service at the Connect Center and as a PA.

  17. Abby James-Vickery says:

    My goal at the beginning of the semester was to learn to put myself first sometimes. I learned that it is okay to prioritize yourself and your feelings. I would say I reached this goal to an extent, but of course there is always room for improvement. One challenge I have been facing this semester is coping with my father’s health struggles and being away from him during those struggles. I am overcoming that by surrouding myself with people who love and support me. I also focus on everything my dad has taught me and I live by it. I try to remember that no matter what happens, he has made me the person I am today and nothing can take that away from me. He taught me to live life to the fullest and spread love and positivity, and I am going to continue to work to do that. Service has taught me to advocate for myself and to advocate for the people around me. I have also learned to appreciate more in my life and be more grateful. Next semester, I see myself continuing to build the volunteer program at the Connect Center. I also plan to spread love and happiness wherever I am!

  18. Liz MacMurray says:

    Overall, this semester I really wanted to become comfortable in my site and make new connections as well. Having a rocky relationship with my site last year, really pushed me to strive towards this goal, and this semester I feel like I did. I really do enjoy my site. I also feel like I am making more of an impact now within this program than I was before. My work at the Boys and Girls Club feels more meaningful which is something I really wanted out of this semester. It was difficult to step more out of my comfort zone with service being in person and all but I quickly adjusted due to the helpful staff and other Bonners that also serve at that site. Next semester, I see myself continuing with the goals and hopefully forming even more connections and contributing to different programs within the Boys and Girls Club.

  19. Jackson Regan says:

    My goal at the beginning of the semester was to stay organized academically, which I managed to do to a considerable degree, until around Halloween. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped proactively keeping myself organized, and was forced to adapt whenever my workload was very large. Now, at the ned of the semester, I have managed to keep myself organized, but am trying to keep myself motivated and energized, even as I know that winter break is just around the corner.

  20. Mara Golden says:

    I honestly cannot believe we have already reached the end of the fall semester!! It does not feel like we have been here for this lone. My goals were to understand the programing we use in the More House better. I can definitely say I have mastered BWBRs but logging into the blog to post will forever haunt me! One challenge I faced this year was focusing on myself. I had to learn to give myself some grace and step away from Bonner work a little bit. With the right support I was able to do so and get back on track. Another challenge I faced was time management. This is normally something I pride myself in but this semester pushed my limits. I thought I could handle seven classes and two internships. I proved myself wrong but I made it to the end and that is what matters and I know not to do that in the future. Something I learned that I use outside of Siena is self care. I had to learn a lot about that this semester and apply it. It wasn’t easy but this is something I plan to continue with even after the semester ends.

  21. Giavanna Pitagno says:

    I feel like this semester has flown by! My goals for the beginning of the semester was to do the best I could with my grades, get acquainted with my new service site and responsibilities, and push myself to grow socially. The semester definitely started stronger than it’s finishing, and I’m definitely feeling burnt out, I feel like I did accomplish my goals and overall, had a good semester. One thing I learned with my site was that it is okay to have weaknesses. One thing I struggle with is making phone calls and other verbal lines of communication- especially when it comes to asking things of people I don’t know. This made trying to establish relationships with absent vendors something I put on the back burner. After discussing this with my program director, she was very understanding of my discomfort and open to helping me grow in that area. Going into next semester, I feel like I have a much better relationship with my program director, and will be more successful in my position next semester

  22. Erin Spence says:

    This semester has been challenging in several ways. Although I was very excited to be back on campus for an almost normal semester, there has definitely been an adjustment period as we have transitioned back to in-person classes and activities. At the beginning of the semester, my main goal related to service was to become oriented with our new PA team and development a strong foundation for the program to move forward on. My main role as a PA this semester was to develop our training curriculum. This is a role I had not done before, there was definitely a learning curve involved. I also hoped to lead the new PAs in getting acclimated to their roles, especially through recruitment. Throughout the semester, as a team, we all became better at communicating and expressing our needs. I learned through this process that not everything is going to go as planned, and that is okay. We experienced some bumps in the road throughout the last couple of months, but we were able to navigate them and find new pathways to success. Next semester, I will be continuing to work on trainings. I have knowledge and experience in the role now, and I am confident that I will be able to plan ahead and collaborate with the rest of the team for one last great semester!

  23. Stephanie Da Fonseca says:

    It is insane how fast this semester has gone by, it was an amazing, but long and hard semester. My goals the beginning of the semester were to simply readjust to life on campus and in person classes, as well as adapting to my new major. It went amazingly, I am about to finish my semester with all A’s while taking 17 credits. A challenge I faced this semester was deciding on a capstone project, it is extremely difficult to decide on something I want to work on for 3 semesters but I ultimately, after multiple idea changes found a project I am insanely passionate about. Something I gained from service is how to maintain professional relationships and workplace skills such as becoming proficient in all things Microsoft, and how to help your boss with absolutely anything they need. Moving forward with service, I see myself working with other educational institutions by seeing what gaps students who are low-income of first gen students feel, and work to create a program that can be included in schools to help these students succeed.

  24. Victoria Taco says:

    One goal I was able to work o this semester was to work on communication. Since I was just starting Bonner I wanted to get to know my site first and work on being able to have good communication with them. Throughout the semester I was able to efficiently communicate any issues I had or anything I wanted to work on. I had the same goal for Bonner as I did with my personal goal. Moving forward I want to continue my verbal skills but work on starting a project at my site or something more sustainable.

  25. Katie Lindsay says:

    My goal at the beginning of this semester was to get to know my site and the people working there better and find ways to implement my interests into their programming. I was successful with the first goal, learning more about the Boys and Girls Club and in forming good foundational relationships with the staff and Bonners there. On the other hand, I did find it hard to figure out what work I should and shouldn’t be doing there starting out. I have started to overcome this challenge by asking my supervisor what I should do during the week / checking in at the beginning of my hours, and learned from experience by listening to her feedback. My goal changed from applying my own ideas to observing the site’s operations and participating and assisting with pre-existing tasks so I could figure out their needs and get comfortable with my site first, before trying to invent my own tasks and plans. I was unsuccessful with making strides on leading my own programming, since I didn’t get to do environmental activities or make much progress on the ideas they gave us just yet like I thought I would. This is my intention next semester, to use the connections I’ve already built there to advocate for myself and ask for help, work independently to solidify my ideas a small amount, but more often put effort in with my team to work on those projects. I feel like the work I’ve done so far has been helpful to me because I developed better communication and collaboration skills, which I can use outside of my site and Siena, in the rest of my professional career and other fields in life.

  26. Nancy Rasmussen says:

    We have reached the end of the semester! Take this time to reflect back on all of the work that you have done. What were your goals at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to reach those goals or did they change? What was at least one challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? What was something you gained from your service that you can use outside of Siena? Where do you see yourself moving forward next semester with your service?

    It’s crazy to think that the semester is over. My goals at the beginning of the semester were to make a lot of progress with my capstone and to feel more prepared to teach next semester. I achieved both. One challenge I faced was balancing being a teacher and being a student. I overcame this by taking everything day by day, sometimes minute per minute. I gained a lot from my service this semester. Not only did my student observation hours prepare me for next semester, my capstone also prepared me to step foot into a classroom as the teacher. For my capstone project I am researching “Democratizing Secondary School Writing Instruction: Re-Engaging Student Voice and Choice in Planning a YPAR Designed Writing Enrichment Program.” I am researching the achievement gap and am working with Tamarac to survey students’ interest in writing. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) makes it a requirement for states to establish academic standards and to use standardized test scores to hold schools accountable. The NCLB has severely distorted the definition of “achievement” and dwindled it down to a score on a sheet of paper rather than the child as a whole. In addition to this shallow view of what it means to be successful as a student, schools have limited access to subjects not covered on these tests, such as art, social skills, leadership training, and character development. I hope to carry this knowledge with me as I graduate and move onto my teaching career. I hope to create a writing enrichment program that will allow students to flourish and feel confident in their writing abilities.

  27. Kimberly Lopez says:

    The end of the semester is near and I am so proud that we all made it this far! This semester has been very challenging, coming to college in itself was a lot to handle but thankfully ACE has helped the transition run smoothly. This semester has been a difficult one but overall I am glad I was able to keep my head above water. My goal at the beginning of this semester was to have better time management skills, I feel that I did achieve this goal because I was able to keep a stable balance between my Bonner, academics and social life. One challenge that I faced that was hard to overcome was being homesick while having a lot on my plate, to resolve this issue I had to take a moment to breathe and think about all the positive things in life. I realized the more I focused on being sad and complaining about how much I had to do made it worst for me to pursue my goal. My change in attitude definitely helped me overcome many obstacles. Learning how to communicate and advocate for myself was a skill I developed at my service site and I am so grateful I am able to use this skill in my everyday life. Next semester I hope to keep an optimistic view of all things so that I am able to improve the skills I learned this semester more and more every day.

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