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Dolphin Stories

Saturday, March 02, 2013

On Opening Yourself Up to the College Experience

11:40 AM :: 1221 Views
 

"Last week was 100 Nights Until Graduation. This night is customarily marked by a fancy dinner and lively dance for all of the seniors, in spite of the bitter and blustery winter!  All around me my roommates were modeling dresses, trying on shoes, and complaining about their hair as we prepared for the night that officially marks the double digit countdown to the g-word (cringe)….graduation! 

And I’m all-how the heck did we get this far in the first place!?!?!?   

Nights like this always make me really nostalgic, and I think about how much has (and hasn’t) changed in the past 3 3/5 years.  It made me think about how SO MANY TIMES before I graduated high school, people all around me constantly told me that I would “find myself” in college.  

Find myself? Aren’t I right here? I’ve always had an issue with that phrase because I think you are always “yourself”- you just discover new facets or develop new passions or drop old habits or meet new people or move where you live.  This is a part of life, and you’re just starting a new one! And that’s awesome. Who wants to read the same chapter of Harry Potter over and over?! Not me! If we did that, we would never get to meet Sirius Black or even Mrs. Weasley.  

I have experimented a lot with my professional career path, and Le Moyne’s faculty was so supportive along the way. I thought I wanted to be a Business major until I took a Public Speaking class and realized I LOVED IT. I switched my major to Communications a few months later. My advisor was really supportive through all of my craziness, and I can never thank her enough for figuring out how I could also double major in Spanish!  And you can do the same thing! Want to declare a major in Biology but want to try out Theatre as well? Do it! Advisors somehow work magic to help you figure out exactly where you’re supposed to be. 

Do you like Ultimate Frisbee? Sushi? White Water Rafting?  Dogs? SNL? Le Moyne has a club for that. Every semester there is a club fair, where you can meander about and look at all of the possibilities your next semester/4 years can present you with. Here is a picture of me at the club fair my freshman year. I am still friends with every single person in this photo, and live with the two my arms are around!

 

 

Some of my most formative experiences have come from working in and around the Le Moyne community. I have had multiple Public Relations internships working for non-profit organizations, completed service projects, and gone on Alternative Break trips. But my story isn’t the exception, MANY people choose to be actively involved in internships and service, and Le Moyne helps you find what type of work is right for you. I have some friends that walk dogs at the local shelter and some friends that work with troubled children. I have friends that have been to orphanages in Kenya and done flood relief in New Orleans. And you first get exposed to this experience during orientation! DIVE is a daylong event where different groups of the first year students complete a service project in the Syracuse Community together. My freshman year, our group painted a mural at a local after-school location.

Some cuties at the Working Boys Center  in Quito, Ecuador!

Your RA’s are also an awesome support system for you in this process of being open to new things. These individuals work their butts off to make sure you’re safe, feeling welcome, and having a ton of fun. I remember tie dying clothes, creating crafts, and having gingerbread making contests while living in the dorms. They also usually have delicious food at their programs; so in other words, GO!

Another opportunity that I think all students should take advantage of is studying abroad. There is simply no other experience like delving into the rich culture of another country, and learning so much about yourself and others in the meantime. Stay tuned for an entire article about this; I went abroad and it was the best experience of my life, so OF COURSE I have to gush about it to you all.

Me during my study abroad in Costa Rica at my volunteer site!

All of these elements were HUGE factors in helping me decide on my future, both professionally and personally."

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