This summer, our blog will feature posts by Parent Orientation Leaders where they will be sharing information relevant to their experiences here at LSU. To kick off our summer blog series, we have Sara Hazlewood, a Junior Math major from Slidell, LA. Sara is a member of LSU Ambassadors and is currently serving as a Parent Orientation Leader helping to orient new Tiger families!
When students and families begin their college experience together, everyone should think of it as the beginning of a new adventure. My family agrees that this is my opportunity to learn what I need to know to become the high school math teacher that I want to become. My parents told me from the start, college is only four years of your life. Fortunately, I quickly realized that it’s my job to make it the best four years yet. Trust me, it really does go by fast! So, the best advice I can give new students is to work hard, have fun, get involved on campus, and don’t waste a minute of it!
I chose LSU because of the Geaux Teach Program. I compared curricula with other universities and with Geaux Teach, I was student teaching during my first semester! In fact, during my first two years, I’ve already gained experience student teaching in 4th, 6th, and 9th grade classrooms. That’s incredible experience for my future résumé, but employers are also looking at extracurricular activities, especially the ones that relate to your student’s future career goals. Getting involved really gives this large university a small community feel; and it’s important for new students to feel at home on campus. Most important – it’s fun, so encourage your student to Geaux For It!
During my first year, I acquired job-related experience as a Private Calculus Tutor while applying many of the teaching skills that I was learning in class. Since then, I’ve learned that the Center for Academic Success also offers tutoring and training programs to prepare upperclassmen to serve as Supplemental Instructors. This training and experience is another opportunity for me to add more work-related experience to my résumé.
I am also an LSU Ambassador, which is definitely a lot of fun; and it’s also an incredible opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills. As an LSU Ambassador I’ve served on and chaired numerous committees, attended leadership conferences, and gained practical experience public speaking in front of large groups. I’m also serving as a Parent Orientation Leader gaining useful experience working with parents and families. It’s a great opportunity to learn how to address parents’ concerns. After all, as a high school math teacher, I’ll encounter parents and I’ll already have experience meeting their needs.
Parents, it’s essential to equip your students for success as you begin your college experience together. Teach them how to do their own laundry, and have them teach you how to stay in contact using Skype and social media. Most importantly, instill in them the confidence they need to pursue their goals. This includes encouraging them to leave their residence hall and get involved in one of the hundreds of student organizations on campus. These smaller communities are where students grow friendships, begin networking, and learn valuable life lessons. LSU definitely offers one the best educations available, but this university also offers so much more than that. Encourage your student to find their passion and then become their biggest cheerleaders as you watch them soar toward their goals! Geaux Tigers!