LSU Cale P. Smith Student Financial Management Center

Today’s post comes from Raylea Barrow, a Graduate Assistant for the Student Financial Management Center. Read more to learn what the Student Financial Management Center is all about!

The LSU Cale P. Smith Student Financial Management Center is thrilled for our brand new location in the LSU Olinde Career Center of the LSU Student Union! This facility will further allow us to engage students in financial literacy education and advise students to become financially responsible. Financial literacy education plays an important role in teaching students how to properly create and maintain a budget, form disciplined spending habits and set financial goals. Students will gain access to these lessons through our personal one-on-one advising, First Year Finance programming and any additional campus activities related to our office. The LSU SFMC also offers Transit, a free online course requirement which first year students can use to test their financial knowledge through mock scenarios.

Students and famalies interested in the LSU SFMC can continue financial education by accessing our online resources at or our Facebook page, Emily Burris Hester serves as coordinator for the office and her associate, Raylea Barrow, serves as the current graduate assistant. Our office, 158BB Student Union, has appointments available on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

This Thursday, September 18th, the Student Financial Management Center will be holding their first event of the year. Encourage your student to geaux check it out at Free Speech Alley!


Location: 158 BB LSU Student Union


Phone: (225)-578-1586

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From a Bobcat to a Bengal

IMG_5816Meet Paige Elmlinger, a first-year student in the Master’s of Higher Education Administration program. She earned her Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from Ohio University complemented by a Diversity Studies certificate. An Ohio native, Paige has encountered many cultural differences since moving to Louisiana, which has made for quite the experience!

          Growing up in the Buckeye state I thought I knew what football culture was all about. Football in Ohio was witnessing everyone decked out in Scarlet and Grey on Saturdays (or more importantly Green and White, Go Bobcats!) or hoping for the Browns to pull through with a win on Sunday. Then I moved to Louisiana and began attending a SEC school; I quickly realized football isn’t just a past time down here, it is a way of life.

          I had no idea what to expect when it came to Tiger football- an example for you all to understand how unschooled I was, the first few times I read the motto “Geaux Tigers” I thought it was pronounced “Gee-awwx Tigers”. Being an Ohioan I had a lot to learn as a new Southerner. My first LSU game was a success, LSU defeated Sam Houston 56-0 and my day was filled with sun, food, and great friends! To be honest, my favorite part of sports is the social aspect and I was mainly looking forward to the tailgating aspect of Game Day! Ohio tailgating has nothing on LSU- it was a complete culture shock for me. You could not go a few feet across campus without encountering another tailgate. The campus grounds were filled with tents, music, tailgate games, TVs tuned into ESPN, food, and an insane amount of people- it was jaw dropping!

IMG_6650 Tailgating is a huge component of Game Day and here are some tips as a newcomer I have for those who have never experienced the SEC:

1. Traffic: Baton Rouge is infamous for their congested traffic and Game Day is no exception. Leave quite early to get onto campus. You may be unable to take your normal route to campus due to road closings in order for law enforcement to ensure a smooth traffic flow. Also carpool with friends because parking is limited!

2.Game Day Attire: I was so stressed over what to wear for Game Day, but it’s a simple as this: wear what you are comfortable in! You will see outfits ranging from LSU t-shirts and jerseys to purple sundresses with cowboy boots! I definitely recommend wearing something cool since you will be tailgating in the Louisiana heat. The most important part of Game Day attire: it is essential to wear purple and gold! Pair your purple and gold with neutrals such a khaki, white or black

3. Drink water: Drink lots of it! The heat can take the energy out of ya and it is important to stay hydrated! You do not want to pass out in Death Valley!

4. Familiarize yourself with LSU traditions: Especially the Garth Brooks song “Callin’ Baton Rouge”. You’re guaranteed to hear this song multiple times throughout the day and every time Louisianans go crazy! Witness the football team walk down Victory Hill and check out the Golden Band from Tigerland. 

5. Have fun and embrace the LSU culture: Step out of your comfort zone! Try new tailgate foods such as meat pies or jambalaya. Join in on “Geaux Tigers” cheers. Walk around campus just to people watch and take it all in!

My first SEC football experience was unforgettable and I can’t wait for the remainder of football season! I hope y’all have a better insight of a Northerner in a Southerner’s world!


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Tigers Road to Victory



I am a junior biology major and football enthusiast who enjoys music, meeting new people, and the south. I am also a member of Phi Mu sorority, LSU Ambassadors, and Co-Chair of Relay For Life of LSU. 

Like many LSU students, I have been rooting for the tigers since I was just a little kid. In fact, my first word was probably “LSU.” There’s nothing quite as exciting as a Saturday night in Death Valley, or so I thought. When I found out the tigers would be playing in Houston, Texas for the opening game of the 2014 season against Wisconsin, I knew I had to take the four hour drive to cheer on my team.

It is safe to say that Baton Rouge took over Houston this weekend, as LSU fans were everywhere, clearly outnumbering Wisconsin fans. When we arrived at Reliant Stadium Saturday afternoon, the tailgating was a little different than the usual sea of purple and gold tents I’ve come to expect on Saturdays, but we made the most of it. I was so anxious; an 8:10 pm kickoff time seemed like an eternity away.10645106_10203629835499674_8537683475902582421_n

          Finally the moment I had been waiting for since December had arrived. LSU fans were in their usual high spirits and positivity as the game began. Wisconsin quickly took the lead, and continued to increase it to 24-7 at the beginning of the third quarter. All hope seemed lost. But if I have learned one thing being a tiger fan all of these years, it is to never give up on the tigers, and especially on the mad hatter, Les Miles. The comeback was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. After the game the air was filled with chants of “Geaux Tigers” and people in red shaking their head in disbelief. My first away game was definitely one for the books and I can’t wait to experience another one.

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Welcome Back Tips



Erica Peterson is a Junior Business Management Major. As a LSU student, Erica is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Vice president of AACC Ambassadors. Erica enjoys volunteering at LSU events and helping incoming freshmen.

By this time, you have mostly unpacked, met your roommates and at least called your parents once before school starts the next morning but now its time to get ready for the first semester of college. It’s completely normal to have your nerves and worries quickly kick into gear when you start to over think so take a deep breath relax. Remember that college is a time to have new experiences and explore what you want to do in the future. The first day of class is usually the easiest but here are some quick tips people often forget to tell.

 1) Go to every class

I know you have been told this a thousand times right but it’s the truth! Think of every skipped class as a wasted fifty-dollar bill. Besides learning the material directly from the professors, you often get inside information like what sections of a chapter may not be on an exam.

2) Calendars exist

I quickly found that my life was more stressful than it had to be if I waited to the last minute. Make a calendar and actually look at it through out the week. I put mine next to my bedroom door as a constant reminder that something may be due.

3) Wear comfortable clothing

I wish someone told me this before I wore sandals across the entire campus my first day of class. Ouch. It’s okay to be stylish and comfortable at the same time, LSU is not grading you on your personal style. I quickly discovered that no one is really paying attention to what I was wearing in the first place. 

image (1)4) Embrace the awkwardness

Anticipate some awkwardness when you approach new people but don’t let that stop you from trying. Embrace every moment of it and remember they are just as nervous. Talking to the people around you can be one of the fastest ways you find new friends.


 5) Chill out

Whether it is a nap or catching up on a TV show, find time to relax. Now, just because I said chill doesn’t mean it should become a habit. Taking time out your study schedule to do something you enjoy can help give you that boost to keep going.

6) Don’t try to copy someone’s experienceimage

Make every moment at LSU your own. Be yourself or start a personal journey to discover who that person may be one day. Make every second count.

As school begins, I would encourage you to figure what works best for your academic and social needs this semester. Every students needs are unique and these simple tips can help with coming back to school.

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Beyond the Boundaries of Campus

AndrewHall-1-2Andrew Hall is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a minor in Communication. This summer Andrew served as the Head Parent Orientation Leader for our Family Orientation Program. Andrew will continue to love purple and live gold by working as a full-time recruiter for the LSU College of Engineering.

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a mission trip with my local church to Chan Chen, Belize. I always look forward to these kinds of trips because they really give you a global perspective.

When I first came to LSU in the Fall of 2010, I was blessed to be a part of an on campus ministry called Reformed University Fellowship, or RUF for short. Because of my involvement with RUF, I was able to define myself spiritually and explore the options of international missions.

I first visited Acapulco, Mexico in January 0f 2012 for a weeklong mission trip and later returned in January of 2014 to continue to serve the children and staff of Casa Hogar del Nino, which translates to “Home Sweet Home for the children”

As graduation approached, I was unsure of what my next steps would be. Not long after I returned to Baton Rouge for my final semester at LSU, I received a phone call from my mother asking me if I would be interested in attending another mission trip, but this time to Peru.IMG_7483

As the semester went on, we later found out that a trip to Peru was not in the options. After talking with Mission To the World, or MTW it was decided that we would begin planning our trip to Belize.

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t know much about Belize. I didn’t know where it was, I didn’t know what we would be doing, and I didn’t know if they would even speak English. But what I did know (and later find out!), is that this trip was where we were supposed to be all a long.

Visiting Belize was such a special experience to share with my church family. We worked with a local church in Chan Chen building a fence, but more importantly building relationships with the people of this village. The local church in Chan Chen loved us so well, and I honestly think that they served us more than we served them. Each time I attend a trip like this, I am reminded that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

belize team!Each person on our team has his or her own gifts and strengths, and though they are very different from the next they each serve a special purpose. Some of us worked well during the construction time, while others enjoyed playing with the children or serving in the kitchen.

As school begins to start back up, I encourage you and your student to look into the different campus ministries that LSU has to offer. If it were not for my involvement with RUF, I would have never experienced the beauty of international missions. A full list of on campus ministries can be found at:

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University Recreation programs and expansion

Tara Harrington is a Senior Kinesiology Major, with a minor in Psychology. This summer Tara served as a Parent Orientation Leader for the University College Center for Advising and Counseling, which is home to all our Allied Health and Nursing Majors. As a student, Tara serves as both a Residential Assistant and an LSU Ambassador. After graduation, Tara hopes to attend Physical Therapy School.

When coming to LSU from high school, one of my biggest worries was gaining the historical “Freshman 15”. I’m a Kinesiology Major, so I am very interested in fitness and I love to work out! For me, exercise is a great way to relieve the stress that comes from school and work. Thankfully, LSU’s University Recreational Center, or UREC, is located on campus. This place has it ALL! From machine weights to rock climbing, there is always something to do. For students that prefer working out in a group, the UREC offers several group fitness classes that are scheduled conveniently to fit in students’ schedules.

I decided to apply for a student job at the UREC during my second year. I worked in the weight room as a fitness assistant, and got experience helping patrons with any questions they had. I loved working there because I got to schedule my work hours around all of my classes!

LSU’s goal of being number one doesn’t stop on the football field. Currently the University Recreational Center is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation! This renovation includes updating the outdoor and indoor facilities, and adding an indoor inclined track, that when complete will be the largest university indoor track in the south! LSU is also adding a lazy river in the shape of the letters “L S U”! If that’s not school spirit, I’m not sure what is. Encourage your student to stay active and find out what the UREC can offer them!10410145_10204408465070949_8382853782003777935_n

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We Will Now Take a Short Intermission: The Transition From High School To College

DrewDrew is a junior majoring in Film and Media Arts with minors in Business and Art Administration. As an LSU student, Drew is involved with LSU Ambassadors, and a part of the Freshman Leadership Council. This summer Drew served as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Drew is  currently working as a Small Group Leader for the STRIPES Program, which is an extended orientation program for first year students. 


I have always loved theatre since I was in the first grade. So naturally on move in day my mom turned to me and said, “Ok man, Act 2!” This was the realization that I was going to college and it was my time to be in the spotlight. For those of you who have had kids in theatre, you know that intermission to Act 2 can be stressful. Worrying whether the audience liked it or not, if they are staying for Act 2, can you save the show, and many more thoughts cross your mind. This should sound familiar to you, because I am sure a million worries are going through your head as the Director of this show.

The transition from high school to college is a very nerve-racking one, but the greatest thing about it is that no one has to do it alone. There are all kinds of people and programs that can help make the transition a smooth one. Students are just as nervous about coming to college as you are to let them leave. I was a very shy kid freshman year, and I swore that the scene in Legally Blonde where she gets kicked out on the first day would be my life. However, that was not the case. All the fears about not finding classes, mean professors, not making friends, and any other worry you or your student may have is not the case.

Scene 1: Academics

This may be the biggest worry, but maybe the most easily fixable. First of all, they have to find their classes! LSU Ambassadors will be at the clock tower the Sunday before classes start to help students walk their schedule so they know and are comfortable with where their classes are. During Welcome Week, ” Ask Me” stations are also set up around campus in case your tiger gets lost. Finally, there is the LSU app that has a map of the campus.  I used this app on my first day and pretended like I was texting the whole time!

Now on to the classwork. If your actor is having a hard time connecting to their character ( or having a hard time learning the material) there are several things that can help them out. First off, office hours are a wonderful resource for your student. All professors are required to have office hours and  I never regretted going to talk to my teachers about information that I may be struggling with. Also the Center for Academic Success ( located in the basement of Coates Hall) can help your student with tutoring, learning and studying strategies, and time management help. If your student is struggling this will be a great place to send them. 

Scene 2: Health

What about health and nutrition? The producers of our productions (LSU) have already thought of that. At LSU, we have the Student Recreational Complex that has several aspects to keep your tiger in shape. Besides weights and workout equipment, they also have a swimming pool and several other sports courts like tennis, racquetball, a rock wall, and much more. Your student can also register for classes at the complex. They have cycling classes, kickboxing, and even street beats for your dancer.

Another great resource to keep your tiger healthy is the Student Health Center located on the corner of Infirmary Road. The Student Health Center is always there if your student ever has any questions about their physical health and mental health . In the basement is health promotion, which has dietitians to help your student keep a balanced diet while in college. The first floor is for physical health that helps your tiger when they are sick. They even have a pharmacy and specialty doctors to help your tiger get back on his or her feet. Finally, the second floor is for mental health. This floor contains licensed therapists for one-on-one or group sessions. I suffer from anxiety so this was a great resource for me especially with the transition. I also know people who have gone because of homesickness, breakups, or other mental issues that they may face.

Scene 3: Social

How will they make friends? This is a simple solution as well. The Office of First Year Experience (FYE) puts on a series of events called Welcome Week. They have events throughout the week and some events even have free food. You can access the full Welcome Week Schedule by clicking here. Attending “What’s the Big Deal about Jambalaya?” was a great way to meet out of states students and get a free dinner in the process.

Another idea that will help out with this aspect is getting involved.  LSU has over 400 organizations that play active roles both on and off campus. Joining organizations is how I met most of my friends, and I will never regret joining them. However I have an older sister, who is 5 years older then me, and she got involved by working at a restaurant with a lot of other college students here in Baton Rouge. This is where she made all of her friends, and through those friends met the man that became her husband last September. Friends will come at the right time, and you just have to be patient and let it happen.

The Finale:

Even though the curtain is closing on Act 1, it does not mean Act 2 is written for you. New characters, adventures, plot twists, and the unexpected is what makes stories great! Your student has the resources to do great things, and they will once their story starts to unfold. The curtain is about to open on Act 2 of their schooling and you have been front and center for the performance all along. You have what you need to direct your student, so let them go on their own in the spotlight, and I promise you the show will end with a standing ovation.

Making the Most of Being Far Away

bridget blogBridget Bailey is an out-of-state senior from Los Angeles, California and is a majoring in Communications Studies. She has been involved with LSU Ambassadors for the past 3 years and loves recruiting new students! She was beyond thrilled to reach out to Parents this summer as a Parent Orientation Leader and share her passion for the University as well as support parents before sending their students to college. Bridget is very excited to graduate this upcoming December and hopefully pursue a career in Human Resources.

When I decided to attend LSU, I knew one of the hardest aspects to overcome would be being so far away from home. I was nervous about not seeing my family everyday and finding new friends to connect with along with transitioning into college. My parents and I were very open with how difficult it might be, which made me less anxious about moving. We were open about our fears and worries aboLA blog postut being separated and talked about how we can stay in contact. Figuring out which communication method would work for us made the whole experience so much easier. The first semester was the hardest, but with some effort and creativity, my parents and I were just fine! Using the combination of skyping, texting, calling, and emailing, we were able to either have short and sweet conversations or long heart to hearts. Also, add in the amazing support I had from my parents about getting involved on campus and I became way more confident being out of my comfort zone!  Whatever works for your family, I encourage y’all to talk about it and try different combinations. Each family is so unique, but every family wants to stay connected. I hope the best for all of you and wish the best for your tigers’ first semester!

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Its More Than Just Service!


Justin Daws is going into his junior year at LSU. He is studying Human Resources with an emphasis in Leadership Development. At LSU, Justin is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Relay For Life of LSU, Colleges Against Cancer, and work for the Office of Parent and Family Programs as the Student Assistant. During the summer, he has served the Office of Orientation as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music and Dramatic Arts.


While here at LSU, service is not only a trait that we try to instill in all of our students, but also an attitude that is taken into the hearts of every tiger here at this university. Starting at orientation, we encourage all of our students and families to help give back to the community by donating school supplies, so that we can stuff the bus and give back to the Baton Rouge community. Then from there we turn right around, and serve our community before school even starts with Community Bound. The Saturday before school starts, LSU sends over thousands of students, staff, and faculty to different locations around the Baton Rouge area to help assist and serve the community.
My first year here at LSU, I was able to participate in Community Bound. The Saturday morning started off with a welcome by the Chancellor of the University in the LSU Student Union Theater, which was both inspiring and a great way to start off not only the day, but also the year. We then loaded onto LSU Buses, which took us to multiple different locations with our fellow classmates and soon to be friends to serve the community. Some of my closest friends and I were able to go assist in the cleaning and painting of a local public school. After the day came to a close, we were given lunch at the school we were working at and then brought back to LSU.

The service did not end here, throughout the academic school year, LSU hosts many different opportunities to serve the school and the community. During homecoming, we do a massive school caned food drive and build Tiger Stadium out of cans on the parade ground. We are constantly hosting small service projects and events that can any student can participate in. One of the best ways of serving the community and LSU would be through the many different service organizations on campus. I, myself, am part of the Relay For Life of LSU organization as the executive director where we raise money for The American Cancer Society and serve men and women who are dealing with the effects of cancer. The organization that I am part of is only one out of many different and unique groups on campus that students can get involved in to help serve and give back

If there is one thin I can tell an incoming student to do to make their time here at LSU meaningful, I would tell them to give back. By giving back, you feel like you are making a difference and trying to better the world. Here at LSU, giving back and serving is what ties every group and organization together and makes us one big family. We may have different groups we support and different styles of service, but at the end of the day we are all serving as tigers and that ultimately represents the love and respect we have for our university. 10152024_10202805935621336_2175477830755590663_n

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LSU Traditions


Lauren Griffin is going into her junior year at LSU. She is studying Accounting with a minor in Mass Communication. At LSU, Lauren is involved with LSU Ambassadors and is a member of Student Government. She also served on student staff for the S.T.R.I.P.E.S. program and has a part time job a campus tour guide. This summer, Lauren is the Parent Orientation Leader for the E. J. Ourso College of Business.


Something that I think truly sets LSU apart is its rich history and traditions. They are clearly evident no matter where you go on campus, and it is one of my favorite aspects about this great university.

Originally, LSU was a military school, also known as the Old War Skule. There is a large green grassy area on campus where today, many students spend lots of leisure time. However, that area, also known as the parade ground, was built for the soldiers to do drill practice. The parade ground sits right in front of one of the oldest structures on campus, the Memorial Tower. One hundred and seventy five feet tall, this building was dedicated to veterans affiliated with LSU who served in World War One. There is another structure located on the parade ground that is dedicated to LSU veterans that served in all wars from World War Two up until the present. Also, being that LSU was a military school, our colors were originally blue and white. Charles E. Coates, a former faculty member, was actually responsible for our colors being changed to purple and gold. He was our football coach for an away game against Tulane. LSU and Tulane had a huge rivalry, so to show our school spirit he sent all the fans out to buy spirit ribbons, noise makers, etc. Being that the game was in New Orleans, everything was either purple, gold, or green. Tulane’s color was green, so naturally the fans bought anything purple and gold they could find. The colors stuck and a few years later became LSU’s official colors.

Now enough about the history. Let’s talk traditions! As we all know, LSU’s football team has a very strong following so it is only natural that there are lots of traditions that go along with it. For every game day, you are sure to see the Golden Band from Tigerland march down Victory Hill to lead our team into victory.LAUREN 1 Once inside of the stadium, Mike the Tiger makes an appearance. But there is only one parking spot in Tiger Stadium, which just so happens to be right outside of our opponents’ locker room door. That’s right, they have to run out to a live tiger! Then, one of my favorite moments of the whole game is when you hear the announcer say the famous words “Chance of rain?” and hearing a resounding “NEVER” that shakes the stadium. But our traditions don’t stop when you leave Death Valley. On a daily basis we are reminded of our school spirit by the beautiful melody of our alma mater playing from the Memorial Tower. Another popular tradition is to go under the tower at midnight on Valentine’s Day with your significant other and kiss. This signifies that you are an official LSU couple.

LSU’s history and traditions are very near and dear to my heart because it makes me feel like I am part of something bigger than myself. LSU was here way before me and it will continue on after
I graduate. If I could stay at LSU forever, I would. It’s a place that gets in your blood and stays there. But being that becoming an eternal college student isn’t an option, being able to pass down these histories and traditions helps me feel like I am forever going to be a part of LSU.

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