Field of Study/Major: Speech-Language Pathology
Current School: The University of Kansas
Previous Schools: New Mexico State University, Class of 2016; Farmington High School, Class of 2012
I recently graduated from New Mexico State University with my Bachelor of Science in Education/Communication Disorders and have just started working on my Master’s Degree at The University of Kansas. In two more years, I’ll finally be done with school and ready to work as a speech-language pathologist.
It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was roaming the halls of FHS! Shortly after starting my freshman year at FHS, I made the decision to fast-track my way to college. I was eager to start a new chapter and become closer to having a career, so I condensed high school into three years. This was made possible primarily because of the dual credit program. Hopes of early graduation or high school graduation with an associate’s degree aside, the dual credit program is a great way to start preparing yourself for college.
After graduating from FHS, I spent the next four years in Las Cruces attending New Mexico State University. I absolutely loved my time there and learned so much! Here are a few tips for you as you begin preparing for college!
Tips for College
1. Get Involved and Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
Almost anyone you talk to about college is going to tell you to “get involved”. It is, hands down, the best thing that you can do for yourself- and for so many reasons! Joining organizations gives you something to do with your time, gives you experiences that can be used in life and on your resume, and provides you with connections to peers and professionals on campus, in the community, across the state, and even nationwide.
Student Organizations- When we talk about getting involved, it can seem like such a little vague statement. You might be thinking that you don’t have any particular interests that would be applicable once you get to college. Think again! NMSU, for example, has more than 250 student organizations! Ranging from gaming clubs, sororities and fraternities, sports teams (intramurals), honor societies, community service organizations, political groups, religious and cultural organizations, and other clubs and orgs specific to your field of study, there’s definitely something for everyone! BUT, if you still don’t like any of those, you can create your own! I even started an organization while I was attending NMSU!
Try Something You Might Not Otherwise Consider- I don’t know what prompted me to do so, but I tried to push myself to stretch my comfort zone. College is your chance to try new things, explore options, and find new passions!
My Suggestions- Two of my favorite organizations at NMSU were ASNMSU (student government) and the organization that I started, AggieTHON (A Dance Marathon Program). Most campuses have some sort of student government, and there are now over 300 universities with a Dance Marathon to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. If you’re unsure of an organization to join, I highly recommend checking one of these out! Additionally, choosing an organization that relates to your major is a great way to build your resume and make more connections in your profession.
New People- Being in a new place means there are tons of new people surrounding you. Don’t limit yourself to your high school friends who are also attending your school. One of the coolest things about the college experience is that there are such diverse people being blended into one campus community. Take the opportunity to listen to their perspectives, have healthy debate, collaborate with them, and make new friends. A lot of the people that I met at NMSU are now my closest friends.
2. Take Advantage of Campus Resources
Every college campus is full of resources that are available to students. You’re given every opportunity possible to be successful, so take advantage of what’s right at your fingertips. Whether you use them or not, you’re still paying for these through your student fees, so you really have nothing to lose! Check online at colleges you’re interested in to find the details on their services. While this is a list based on the Universities I’ve attended, these are pretty common services available on most college campuses.
- Counseling Center
- Health Center- You don’t even need to leave campus to see a doctor!
- Tutoring- Don’t be afraid to ask for help on difficult assignments or when you need tips for preparing for exams!
- Writing Center- A great resource to help you appropriately structure and format papers, proofread, cite sources, and more!
- Free Activities and Events On Campus- There are fun things like concerts and game nights, but there are also tons of guest speakers, and small workshops about college success tips, your finances while in school, etc.
- Activity/Recreational Centers- Don’t worry about gym memberships when you have a free one on campus!
- Free stuff handed out at tables, booths, and events across campus
- Libraries- There are specific resource librarians that can help you do research for a paper or project!
- SAFE Ride Program- Get home safely, especially if you find yourself in a situation where you’re unfit to drive!
- Professors- Professors are there to support you! Visit their office hours if you have questions about class and assignments, or you just want to chat for a few minutes!
- Career Services- Can help you decide on your major if you haven’t already, will help review/build your resume, practice interviews, can help you find a job you can work while you’re in school, and help you find a job when graduation approaches
College is going to be an entirely new and different experience. You suddenly shift from being in school 8-3 everyday, to only having class two or three hours per day. At first you’ll find it easy to binge watch Netflix and take afternoon naps, but to be successful you need to create a routine schedule for yourself. Realize that professors are not going to tell you every little thing you need to do. In fact, unless they take attendance, there’s nothing really stopping you from skipping class completely. You’re going to need to hold yourself accountable and make sure you attend! It’s up to you to complete readings outside of class, study, and come prepared to class meetings. You’ll also need to plan ahead for big exams and projects that will take you more than just a night or two to study for. Be proactive when it comes to schoolwork and make it a priority. On top of that, don’t forget to (1) get involved and (2) give yourself breaks to hang out with friends. When you’re able to balance all three of these things, you’re sure to have a great college experience!