Alumni Spotlight: Stacy Gunarian

An Essay by Stacy Gunarian

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying with us and welcome to the United States of America.” the voice of the flight attendant said. This marks the first step I made into a new beginning, the first step to further my education in a new country, and I was excited beyond belief. Ever since that day, I have taken a few small steps towards my goal here in the USA, but as I move on, I can’t help but think that I would not be here if it weren’t for all my experiences in secondary school and junior college. Stamford gave me a solid base for me to enter college, and all that I have learnt in school helped me tremendously in adjusting to college.


One experience I had here in the USA shows this point. On the second week of school, the theatre department at Orange Coast College, where I am studying right now, opened auditions for a theatre play called “The Good Person of Setzuan”. Although I only knew of the auditions one day beforehand, I gathered up my courage and gave it a go anyways. To my unspeakable surprise, I was cast as the main lead. Again I think to myself, I really would not stand a chance if it weren’t for my past experiences. Back in Stamford, I had taken part in 3 plays, “The Wizard of OZ”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and “A Thousand Cranes”. These 3 productions have prepared me for not only the audition process but also for the entire length of the production. My past experiences in the past three productions had taught me well on how the whole theatre production process, how to get through technical and dress rehearsals, and most importantly, it taught me how to act and get out of my comfort zone. I started off as a flying monkey in The Wizard of OZ, but with more opportunity given to me by Stamford and also the encouragement of teachers and friends, I was able to improve, develop my skills further and prepare for “The Good Person of Setzuan”. I would never forget this and never stop being grateful for the opportunity Stamford has given me. Academically, my past Stamford teachers had helped me discover and understand better on my study style and how to keep up with long lectures in college. Although there were a few minor bumps in the road, overall, Stamford had given me memorable teachers that I would not forget, be it in primary, secondary and junior college.

Other than that, I’m also having a lot of fun here in the US! I made lots of friends and I also get the chance to experience new things when travelling around the vicinity and around the state of California. Studying abroad opens up many opportunities to gain new experiences, so I encourage you to go out there and try studying abroad! I promise you, you will have the time of your lives and also gain valuable lessons not only inside the lecture hall but also outside. Ms MJ Luyon-Fajardo had asked me to write this article, and I happily accepted in the hope that sharing my journey so far would motivate you, whoever you may be the reader, to continue to strive in life. Good Luck my fellow Stamfordians! Cheers!

 ~ Stacy

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