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A new world awaits many starting college

By Darien Walsh

The start of a new college year is for some another year of learning, friends, and exploring opportunities. For others, it is the start of a brand new adventure and many new experiences. For all, it is a time to learn, to grow, and to become adults, whether that means driving five minutes from home to get to class or flying hundreds of miles to live on campus. Freshman Erisha Leann Menon is one student whose adventure at Waldorf College is beginning far from home.

Originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Menon is living her dream of coming to the United States by attending Waldorf College. Menon first heard about Waldorf through her aunt, a Waldorf alumni, and was later awarded the Chantell Cooley Leadership Scholarship for Women, which ensured her enrollment to the college.

As a digital media major, Menon’s dream is to become an event manager. “I don’t want a nine-to-five,” Menon said. “I’m more adventurous. I want to be creative.” Menon also enjoys being creative through music, and is a member of the Waldorf Choir.

Starting college so far from home can prove to be a bit difficult and different. The biggest difference is the food. Malaysia is a multicultural country, with influences from China, India, and other countries in their food. “Everything here is fried. In Malaysia, there is spicier food,” Menon said. Another difference she has noticed between Iowa and Malaysia is the traffic. “Here there is no traffic. There’s horrible traffic jams in Malaysia.”

While Menon deals with differences in culture, she still enjoys the educational opportunities the college has provided for her. She also enjoys several other things about Iowa, and the Waldorf campus in general. “I like the friendly people,” Menon said. “In Malaysia, people don’t say ‘hi.’ I felt really welcomed here. I like that you can make someone’s day with a smile.”