Four Years Later…

Nicole PicNicole Dominique is a soon-to-be LSU graduate with a Dual-Degree in Microbiology and English Literature.  Nicole is from Thibodaux, Louisiana and has served LSU as an Ambassador, Parent Orientation Leader, BIOS Mentor, and Cox Communications Student Athlete Tutor. Recently, she was awarded as a member of the LSU Tiger Twelve Class of 2017 for her service to the campus and larger Baton Rouge community. After graduation, Nicole will attend LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to pursue a combined M.D./M.P.H degree. 

Two papers, two exams, and a couple steps across a stage: it seems strange that this is all that is left of my LSU career. Being so close to graduation, this semester has forced me to reflect on my time at LSU.

It’s unbelievable to me how much LSU has given me. I’d like to think that LSU, the experiences it has provided me, and the people on campus found me in the times that I needed them the most.  I will leave with significant memories including volunteering at the Crisis Intervention Center, studying abroad in the U.K., assisting families and students through LSU Ambassadors, and meeting many genuine people. From my random roommate freshman year (still a close friend) to encouraging professors, LSU seems to attract individuals eager to connect with others.

LSU has taught me about myself and has given me a deeper love for Louisiana, motivating me to give back to the state that has raised and formed me.

College is challenging, but in a way that enables you to find your passions (still a bittersweet and scary time). I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the help that enabled me to arrive at this point. For future students, I would recommend seeking out our post-orientation programs, like STRIPES (for entering freshmen) and BIOS (for entering science majors). I attended BIOS, and it gave me an insight into what being a Science major was like before beginning in the Fall. Additionally, I benefited from Supplemental Instruction, study sessions led by fellow students who have already taken the class, especially for notorious classes like organic chemistry.
17991038_1131066090372821_4859936136947140559_n (002)
LSU gave me experiences that I never imagined being able to do, and I was able to pursue an education that I really enjoyed. I know that my time here has been meaningful and will remain with me. LSU has a way of making itself your home and a place that you are sad to leave with only 2 weeks before graduation. I can’t in any way tell everyone how to chart their path, but just know that there are many resources, experiences, and kind people waiting for you!


So Long, Farewell, to You My Friend!

Graduation Close Up

Meet Meagan Johnson, a Senior majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. She is also minoring in History and Political Science and is from Hackberry, Louisiana. Meagan is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Collegiate 4-H, University Baptist Church and served as a Parent Orientation Leader this past summer.

Louisiana State University has become more than just a school for me. It is a place I call home and a place that has given me more than I could ever give in return. With my last finals week at LSU coming to an end, I have begun looking back on my time here. I can see all of the opportunities LSU has brought into my life from life-long friends, impacting professors, the opportunity to study abroad, life changing organizations and memories of it all to last a life time. It is really hard to believe that my time at LSU is coming to an end, but I am looking forward to the last experience I get to have at LSU with many of my closest friends dressed in caps and gowns.

In many ways, it is surreal to me that I will actually be getting a diploma next week. I have dreamed of this day for many years and now that it is here I have mixed feeling about it. I am excited that all of my stressing, studying, late nights and prayers are about to pay off as I officially earn my degree. However, I will miss all of the memories I made here and the people that have made my time at LSU so special. I am a very lucky girl to have had so many great experiences here and I do not want it to end just yet.

I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone that has helped me through this experience. I would not be graduating or attending law school in the fall without the constant support and guidance. Getting to have this last experience with my friends that started with me in 2012 is the perfect way to end our journey at LSU. We can look back on this experience with a smile and look ahead to our adventures to come!

College, That’s a Wrap!

11201630_10205381375147710_6847942161028912054_nMeet Ryan Bolotte from New Orleans, LA. Ryan attended Ponchatoula High School and has recently graduated from LSU with a degree in Biological Sciences. Throughout his collegiate career, he was involved with LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES, and Supplemental Instruction. This summer Ryan will be serving as a second year Parent Orientation Leader. In the fall Ryan will begin medical school at LSU in New Orleans.

Four years ago, I was fresh out of high school with my diploma in hand and ready to take on the next big step in my life: college. Now, four years later, I am fresh out of college with my second diploma in hand and ready to take on an even bigger step in my life: medical school. When I look back on my time at LSU, it’s remarkable to think about all of the obstacles and challenges that I was forced to overcome, but it’s even more incredible to think about how rewarding it was to make it through those four years and how much I learned about myself along the way. There were a few major lessons that I learned while at LSU that proved to be vital in helping both my family and I succeed at this whole college “thing”, and I want to share those with you!

One of the first things that parents and families are going to be concerned about is staying in touch with their student. It’s a very valid issue, especially for students coming a long way from home to Baton Rouge. However, it’s not difficult to make something work these days with all of the technology that we have. Whether it’s a weekly phone call, a group text with the parents, or a daily text from your student, I’m sure there is something that you can agree upon that will work. The only thing you have to do is make sure to communicate beforehand with your student what is the best option for both of you and be open to changes in case your “communication plan” needs to be tweaked or altered throughout the years.

This is probably the hardest lesson I had to learn, but it is possibly the most important one for you and your student: it is okay to make mistakes (I promise). This goes for families and students alike. As a perfectionist, this was not easy for me to comprehend, but I soon realized that not everything is going to go as planned. From move-in day to the first exam to post-graduation plans, I had to learn very soon that it was fine to stray away from the original plan sometimes. I learned a whole lot more when things weren’t going right during college, and I can take those lessons that I learned about positivity and adaptability with me into the future.18705_10205381367907529_8724908469208468807_n

It is going to be hard at times to not compare what your student is doing to his or her siblings, friends, or your friends’ children. There were many times when I found myself comparing my grades, extracurricular activities, or jobs to what other people were doing, and I know my mother did the same thing with her friends and their children. Two LSU students could do exactly the same things (have the same major, take the same classes, do the same extracurricular activities, etc.), and their college experiences will still be different due to the simple fact that every student is different. I found that comparing my experience to other students’ experiences only got me caught up in thoughts that were not going to help me achieve my goal of getting into medical school. I needed to focus on my classes, my obligations, and my medical school preparation and stay away from comparing my unique journey to everyone else’s.

After spending four years here, I can guarantee that LSU offers everything that a student could ask for. The campus is beautiful and “home-like”; the organizations and clubs create smaller communities within the university; the student body is filled with passion and pride; the departments and university staff will ease your student’s time here; the faculty will provide your student with an excellent education; and the other students at this university are one of a kind. This is the best deal that any college student could ask for. Everything is out there, and it is upon you and your student to maximize the resources that LSU has to offer.

The last thing that I will leave you with is something that my mother told me before I came to college: constantly encourage your student and yourself to do the best you can. You cannot do any better than your best, and I always had to remind myself of that. If I gave something my all, and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I could be satisfied knowing that I gave it everything I possibly could. That is the attitude that you and your student have to maintain – do your best as a family member and have your student do his or her best, and things will fall into place from there. 11207369_10205381379787826_8227741502466119537_n