Miguel Cardona ’19, from Newark, NJ, is currently studying political science at The George Washington University.
ACADEMICS - My best academic experience so far is the University Writing course which is the freshman mandatory writing course to introduce us into college writing. This class is unique at GW since they all hold a small class size of around 15 students. The whole class befriended one another and the professor always pushed and guided us to create the best writing pieces we could. Everyone in this class was so politically and socially knowledgeable and aware of events occurring around the world. I was able to learn a great amount from them and also provide my knowledge from my own unique experiences directly working with others in different communities. Everyone was woke and it was just an amazing first experience to what academics at GW would be like because it wasn’t in the slightest an easy course due to the dense and complex readings and new style of writing that needed to be learned. In this class I was also shown the academic aids that were present on campus, especially the writing center to help in the development of my writing. I was able to successfully adapt to the increase in length, substance and complexity of college writing, ultimately ending this class with an A and relationships that I will have for the rest of my time at GW with not only my peers but also my professor.
EXTRACURRICULARS – In addition to being on the orientation team, I serve on the Dean’s Council for Multicultural Recruitment, the GW ALPHA, Black Men Initiative and am an intern for Michelle Obama’s Better Make Room Campaign. I am a Cisneros Scholar, and work as an administrative assistant at the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute, which examines current issues facing the country to encourage diverse perspectives in national dialogue and decision-making and prepares high-achieving students to make a difference and become the leaders of their generation.
CFS PREPARATION – Discipline, academic excellence, leadership and brotherhood were developed at CFS and carried on into college. Having specific teachers, coaches and faculty that believed in my ability to succeed in and out of the classroom and constantly pushing me to do my best helped me develop these aspects of myself that have allowed me to flourish among my peers at GW.
ADVICE FOR GRIFFINS - Take it all in. CFS is a challenging and rough time but it is worth it. The tools are there for you to succeed and you have to maneuver the system well in order to come out feeling achieved and happy at what you’ve done during your four years. Use the resources available at CFS through faculty, administration and different clubs to learn more about these opportunities and not feel like you are limited to what you see. You have to stay aware of opportunities outside of CFS as well that can better set you up for the future. Your experiences after CFS depend on if you put yourself in the position to do better once you leave. You will enjoy whatever you pursue after CFS much more after knowing how much it took to get to the finish line. So stay woke, enjoy your time there, make friends, take advantage and chase new opportunities and always seek to be better than you were yesterday. Be grateful for the little things and just know you will never have the same sense of community, family, and brotherhood than you have at CFS. I strive to be the best in all I do but when it didn’t go my way and I wanted to give up I learned over time not to immediately react but to reflect about how my actions would affect me in the future and become someone that is more open and able to learn from others in order to overcome those obstacles.