FGCU freshman learns ways to become more involved and still pass exams

Sydney+Thabet+in+front+of+the+Library+on+campus.++Her+life+changed+a+lot+since+she+started+college%2C+and+after+a+rather+lonely+first+semester%2C+she+is+now+involved+with+on-campus+clubs+and+smartly+balances+her+social+life+with+her+studies.+%28EN+Photo%2F+Jaynie+Tice%29

Sydney Thabet in front of the Library on campus. Her life changed a lot since she started college, and after a rather lonely first semester, she is now involved with on-campus clubs and smartly balances her social life with her studies. (EN Photo/ Jaynie Tice)

She sat patiently in the shade next to Starbucks with her longboard sitting propped up against the table. The bottom of the board read, “Sector Nine” with waves and palm trees surrounding the bright orange and yellow lettering. Her eyes matched the coastal-green of the palm trees. They told a story of someone wise beyond her years.

Sydney Thabet is finishing up her freshman year.

“I’ve gone through a lot of hard times that have made me have to grow up, and my mindset has changed a lot,” Thabet said. “I’m able to be more objective with the way that I treat myself and the world around me.”

Like most college students, Thabet’s life has changed greatly since college.

“First semester, I didn’t really make that many friends, and then, this semester, I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m the only reason why I’m not making any friends,’” Thabet said. “I decided to join a couple clubs and make friends with the people in my building. And now, I feel like I have too many friends, and it’s hard to spend time with all of them.”

Thabet is currently involved with FGCU Enlighten Us on campus. In fact, the club recently asked her to be an officer. Enlighten Us is a club focusing on yoga, meditation and spirituality.

It was at an Enlighten Us meeting that Thabet learned about Reiki. Reiki is a Japanese practice. A woman from Enlighten Us posted an ad on Facebook to teach the practice.

“It’s basically tapping into the energy that’s around us everyday and using it to heal yourself,” Thabet said.

Thabet is currently level one certified in Reiki. At this level of certification, she said that she is only able to heal herself. Practicing Reiki is one way Thabet eases her school-related stress. She also practices yoga and hooping.

In high school, Thabet had friends who hooped, but she didn’t pick up the hobby until college. Hooping is a dance form as well as an exercise form involving Hula Hoops that is quietly sweeping the nation. This style of dance is often seen at music festivals or in circus acts.

Though Thabet tries to take time every day to practice her new hobbies, she also spends a lot of time in school.

Thabet feels that finding the right studying techniques is a learning process.

Last semester, when she was only taking two classes, she went to office hours and thoroughly studied her notes. However, this semester, she is taking four classes. One of these classes is intermediate algebra. Thabet is most worried about her algebra final because she’s not exactly sure how to study for a math final.

Thabet’s algebra professor, Matthew Neubek, has high hopes for his students.

Neubek said he likes to hear that his students are nervous about their final.

“It means they’re taking it seriously,” Neubek said.

When Neubek was going to school for his master’s, he took exams very seriously.

“I would go back to my notes and take notes on my notes,” Neubek said.

Neubek also said that the most important relationships that you can cultivate in college are relationships with your professors.

Thabet is very fond of Neubek. She will probably pop in on his office hours for his assistance studying for her algebra final. However, she is also making sure to relax and take part in her daily yoga and hooping.

“Now that we’re talking about hooping, I really want to go home and hoop,” Thabet said.

She dropped the longboard onto the concrete with a thud and used her foot to push her board off in the direction of her dorm room. She gracefully glided down the sidewalk alongside the reflective lake next to the library. A backpack full of books wasn’t slowing her down.