Want to Know How Our College Freshmen Are Settling in to Life Away From Alexandria? Read On…

Russell Biesada is majoring in Aerospace at Middle Tennessee State University. He was awarded The Buchanan Fellowship, which is limited to 20 students per year and is the highest award given to an entering freshman at Middle Tennessee State University.

He writes:

So, more than one month of college at Middle Tennessee State University done, and I’m about a third of the way through the semester right now. Is it what I expected? I always knew that college would be hard, much harder than high school was. Well, the four tests that I had in three days and multiple research papers I’m currently working on seem to support that college is harder than high school, but I do have a lot more free time with only two or three classes each day. College isn’t all about classes and homework though. A year ago, I was reluctantly writing another essay, this time for my application to MTSU’s Buchanan Fellowship program. At the time, I was unaware of how important that one essay would be. Not only did I receive a Buchanan Fellowship, I was immediately one of a group of 20 incoming freshmen who have become my friends and a group I hang out with on a regular basis. My dorm room floor is the designated freshman aerospace floor, so I’m surrounded by other student pilots and aviation enthusiasts on a regular basis. Meeting two different groups of people who have similar interests has been great, especially for an out-of-state student like myself. Of course, nothing in life ever goes as planned. For me, I was sick for about a week and a half. My older brother had warned me that being surrounded by thousands of people on a regular basis would result in me getting sick with something. Well, I wasn’t expecting it to happen as soon as it did, but with ⅔ of my dorm floor sneezing, I guess it was inevitable. Eventually, I decided to go to MTSU’s free Student Health Clinic and it wasn’t long before I started to get better. That’s a really good thing, as I’m flying this weekend. While I won’t be doing my private pilot flight labs until the spring semester, a requirement for one of my aerospace classes is a flight and ground school session. I’m really looking forward to it, and not just because I love flying. It gives me the opportunity to pick up my flight training where I left off from my Senior Experience at Liberty University. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the inaugural members of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Pathways Flight Academy and spent two weeks at Liberty logging flight hours. Overall, I’m really happy with my decision to attend MTSU. I know that the weeks ahead will hold the challenges of midterms/finals and time management, but I’ve made some good friends and found that the emphasis on being part of the “True Blue” family is real and not just hype.”

ACPS, Alexandria City High School, Alumni Profile