Student Voices: ASU Prep Digital West Campus Experience

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By: Natalie M. 10th Grader at ASU Prep Digital 

I cannot begin to emphasize how valuable the ASU West Experience has been to me. This Wednesday, my peers and I enjoyed an engaging, fun-filled day in which we peer-reviewed each other’s work from the leadership writing workshop, learned about the social sciences, toured the social science lab, interviewed one of our peers, and introduced them to the group, and worked on our pitch for our Getting to Know You Project in the Communications lab.

Our morning was filled with a variety of different activities. We started out our day with a video call with Professor Duane Roen. He showed us two different methods to give a good peer review and provided examples of how those methods could be used. After we had learned how to peer review each other’s writing, we paired up to peer-review each other’s essays from last week’s leadership writing prompt. I was curious about what my partner would think of my writing, so it was a very cool experience to exchange feedback with each other. After we had peer-reviewed each other’s essays, two ASU West professors in the social sciences provided us with information about how the social sciences impact the world and took us on tour through the social science labs. I found it interesting how the social sciences can be used to understand people and social phenomena.

Before lunch, we interviewed a peer and then introduced the peer we interviewed to the class. We asked them questions like what is their favorite activity, what was one of their most embarrassing moments, when they were the proudest, and what is one thing we do not already know about them. After the peer interview part was over, we took turns sharing the information we learned about our peers with the rest of the group. I was initially hesitant about how others would perceive my answers, but I found that my peers were empathetic towards each other as we shared our answers. Sometimes, people would even chime in about similar situations they had been in, which helped us develop connections and common ground as a group.

For the rest of the day, we worked on our Getting to Know You Project. For the Getting to Know You Project, each of us will present a one-minute pitch about who we are and our future goals to an audience of our choice: prospective employers, prospective colleges, etcetera. In the Communication lab, we had the opportunity to record ourselves as we practiced our pitches, and we had a chance to watch ourselves. My cold pitch was one of the ones that were watched as a class, and I found the feedback from my peers extremely helpful and valuable. Specifically, I appreciated the advice of not reading from a script and was glad to know that my pacing was already really good. My peers and I also all learned that we would be presenting our pitches extemporaneously and adding a new word to our vocabulary. In short, we will be presenting our one-minute pitches using notes with key points to remind us of the information we need to present. I really enjoyed diving right in on our first project for the ASU West Experience.

One of the incredibly amazing aspects of the ASU West Experience that I am grateful for is the independence and real-world skill-building. This program has provided me with the opportunity to build my non-academic skills and become more independent. I have strengthened my skills and confidence as I learned how to take the ASU Campus shuttle to campus on my own. Additionally, we can navigate campus during lunch, purchase food in the different food courts, and are expected to be responsible and return back to class on time. This provides all of us with the opportunity to practice and build our time management skills independently. The ASU West Experience provides all of us with the wonderful opportunity to not only learn a lot but also learn and practice life skills.