By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Since fall semester 2016, we’ve followed Jacob Alexander, now a sophomore at SUNY Oswego. The first year represents a time of adjustment for most students, as college is more academically rigorous than high school, students spend more time away from their families, and a bevy of new friends enter their lives.
Alexander lives off campus at his home in Sterling, along with parents, Patti and Ron, and younger sisters Meadow and Lilly (his older sister, Kaitlin, attends college, too). Commuting 20 minutes hasn’t stopped him from enjoying a robust academic and social life at SUNY Oswego.
“It’s busy,” Alexander said. “Classes were pretty good. I’ve enjoyed them. A few were difficult but it wasn’t too bad. I had mostly tech classes so I like that.”
Alexander plants to teach technology education, so his basic electronics and advanced metals classes were especially pleasurable and enlightening.
Alexander said that professors Richard Bush, teaching advanced metals and Edward Zak, teaching technology education deeply impressed him.
“They are really passionate about what they teach and create a really good environment in the classroom,” Alexander said. “They’re very experienced in the field. They make the class enjoyable.”
Alexander also took time to have some fun. He served as president of Team Mini and OTEA (Oswego Technology Student Association).
“It was very fun but very busy,” Alexander said. “For both, I run the meetings. I get all the officers together. For OTEA, we addressed redesigning our logo. I helped organize our trip to Virginia Beach for TEECA, a technology competition and job fair.”
Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association, held Nov. 8-11, hosted students from throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Alexander’s club placed in several events.
He has found that serving as president for the clubs has improved his organization and leadership skills. He also feels more confident in his public speaking skills.
In his spare time, Alexander works at the Cooper Dining Hall as a server. He gets to know a few more faces on campus, as well as make some money.
For the spring semester, Alexander hopes to continue improving his organization and time management skills to keep up with his classes, clubs and work. Staying on campus all day helps him minimize driving time. A few times when weather was iffy, he has stayed overnight in a friend’s dorm room.
Alexander advises students to make a schedule to keep track of their homework, projects and tests.
“Definitely don’t overload yourself,” he said. “Being president of two clubs got a little stressed at times, but the other officers helped me through it. I’m just a sophomore. I don’t think I was totally prepared to be president of both at the same time but it’s working out.”
He also advises students to take a break and make time for themselves occasionally to de-stress. In his spare time, Alexander enjoys woodworking, fishing and practicing martial arts at Kuk Sool Won of Wolcott, where he holds the newly-acquired rank of third-degree black belt.