Get Involved When It Comes to School

Whether you’re thinking about returning to school or you have a child you’re ready to launch into academia, summer is a good time to plan.

Dale Whittaker, the vice provost for undergraduate and academic affairs at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., mentions in a guest blog that orientation programs are key to student success. Taking advantage of events such as skits, campus scavenger hunts, and meeting and interacting with peers and faculty and staff members contributes to overall college success, he said.

I would be the first to agree. It’s hard for me to even realize I was the first female to head to college in my family. My parents were smart, hard-working people but neither was college-educated. They desired a college education for each of their six children, and today, four of the six hold degrees.

I chose to go to school eight hours from home, so I still remember sitting on the back stoop, cuddling the family dog, and knowing from this day forward my life would be different.

Being outgoing and friendly did not prepare me for how I would feel my first few days on campus. I knew no one. I had no clue what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to go. My parents were anxious to return home, and quite frankly, probably didn’t realize the purpose of orientation programs.

Thankfully, there was a mom standing in the corner of the admissions area. As the mom later told me, she pushed her rather shy daughter and told her, “Go talk to that girl over there. She’s by herself.”

Well, Sandy and I started a friendship that continues today. We took advantage of all the orientation sessions, and today, she’s a director of admissions at a higher education institution, and after a long career in newspaper editing, I’m enjoying marketing books at TSTC Publishing.

What’s true, too, is whether it’s college, a job, church, or a volunteer organization, it’s all about getting involved. Find out what’s offered and take advantage of programs being offered.

I know here at Texas State Technical College, orientation programs welcome new students, and various activities throughout the year help students stay connected.

When you’re registering or applying, be sure to ask for a schedule of events. Then, go to the events. Meet new people and discover new things. Soon, you will be taking charge and soaring your way to success.