GEAUX Greek

IMG_3586Brielle Moreau is from Prairieville, LA and is a Junior majoring in Biological Sciences. Brielle is an active member in the Greek Community, an LSU Ambassador, and served as one of LSU’s Parent Orientation Leaders this summer.

Going off to college means so many new experiences and one of those is Greek Life. Greek Life has honestly made me feel at home for so many different and unique reasons. Being part of the Greek community is an opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself. The moment I joined my sorority, I knew that it was going to be the start of a great time here at LSU.

Before coming to college, I was worried about meeting new people and finding ways to get involved on campus, but Greek Life quickly made that very accessible to me. Greek Life is constantly giving back to the community in ways that I could have never expected. Events like Habitat for Humanity where all of Greek life comes together and builds houses for those who need them allowed me to further my bond with my sisters and other Greeks as well. I have thus far been able to make meaningful connections with individuals that will last a lifetime.

When I joined a sorority, I gained 300 new sisters to support me and guide me through my college career. These new sisters are from all walks of life and from all over the world. Not only did becoming Greek allow me to find my home, but it allowed me to make a home for others.  Even though every member of my sorority, and Greek Life in general, is from different places, we all come together to make a positive impact in our community and on campus.  Every sorority and fraternity has their own specific philanthropy that is special to them and throughout the year they host events and fundraisers to raise money to support those philanthropies.

Not only are members involved with helping the community, many members are also involved with student government and a vast variety of other organizations on campus. LSU offers over 450 different organizations on campus and Greek Life is just one of them. Apart from the involvement of the chapter as a whole, I also live in the sorority house so it has truly and literally become my home here at LSU.

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Making Orientation Better for Your Student

BlaiseBlaise LaCour is a Mass Communication Junior from Natchitoches, Louisiana currently serving as the Communications Chair for LSU Ambassadors. She attended the Southern Regional Oriental Workshop in 2016 and 2017 and served as a Parent Orientation Leader in 2015.

LSU is constantly working to have the best orientation program possible for incoming students, parents and their families. Part of what we do as a university to keep our orientation leaders as informed as possible is send them to an annual conference called the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW). The organization orientation leaders are chosen from, the LSU Ambassadors, selects a group of its members to send to universities across the south where they attend presentations and learn how other universities run their orientation programs.

This year, a group of about 40 Ambassadors, including myself, loaded up a bus and traveled to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia for the conference.  Since the SROW committee had been chosen in November, this was a highly anticipated trip. In the months leading up to SROW, we prepared detailed presentations to bring to the Presentation Groupconference. Most presentation groups researched universities across the country in order to compile a well-rounded set of information for their presentations. Presentation topics this year covered areas like campus safety and financial literacy. At the conference itself, other universities discussed diversity, first generation students and the importance of social media at orientation. Over the course of SROW there is a large exchange of information between universities as a result of these educational presentations.

In addition to presentations, the Ambassadors participate in the song, skit, step and dance competition that takes place at SROW. Entering under the dance category, we performed a 3 minute and 30 second routine set to music combined with voice-overs that spoke about resources LSU offers its students. (https://youtu.be/jVoFKIyDoa4 ) This was one of several ways we displayed how dynamic LSU is as a university.

After four days in Georgia, we returned back to Baton Rouge eager to share what we learned at SROW. The conference seemed to pass in the blink of an eye in comparison to the months that were spent preparing for those four days. Because of this experience, the SROW committee is now a tight knit group of students who are well prepared to serve the university that we love. Committee Picture

An Open Letter to Nervous Parents

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Paige Picou will be serving as the University Center for Advising and Counseling POL. She is a Junior Psychology major from Houma, Louisiana. She is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Psi Chi, Freshman Leadership Council, and STRIPES. Her favorite spot on campus is the Bookstore.

Entering college is a time filled with nervousness, excitement, and hopes for the future. While students are packing their things, scheduling their classes, and planning for the experience they’ll have at LSU, there are obviously a lot of emotions involved in the process. However, while most of the attention is rightfully placed on the students themselves, people often forget that this is a very emotional time for the parents as well.

I know as my parents were moving me into my residence hall before the start of my freshman year, they were also filled with excitement for me, nervousness about how well I would adjust, and worries for our future. Not only did they want me to be successful and happy, but this was also the first time in my life that we hadn’t all lived under the same roof, and I know they were going to miss me as much or more than I missed them.PAige blog 1

I can only imagine the stress that goes along with sending your child away to college, but as a student who has faced this experience with my own family, I can assure you that your child can succeed here. LSU has worked tirelessly to try to create programs that can help students academically. The Center for Academic Success provides free walk-in tutoring to students for any subject that they are struggling in. Additionally, supplemental instructors are provided for classes that are typically difficult for students. These supplemental instructors are students who have already taken this particular class and made an A in it and then retake that class to help the new students. They will hold review sessions twice a week with worksheets and a more relaxed environment where students can discuss class material with other students. In addition to the academic resources that this university offers, LSU also has over 400 organizations for students to get involved in, and all of these organizations can be found at www.lsu.edu/tigerlink.

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Of course, there will still be times when your student will be frustrated and unsure of what to do next in a particular situation, and there will also be times when your tiger can’t wait to tell you all about the good grade on a test or the great day he or she had. While it can be upsetting to hear that your family members are having a rough day and not be able to immediately fix the situation, I think being a support system for your student is the best thing you can do for him or her. I know that when I want to vent, simply having my parents to listen to and understand what I’m feeling is a great comfort to me because it validates my feelings and makes me feel like I am not alone. They can’t fix all of my problems for me, but they are always there to listen and help me figure out how to solve my problems on my own.

I can assure you that all of the wisdom, advice, and values that you have instilled in your child have prepared him or her to make his or her own decisions here. Your child will absolutely still make mistakes, but with your guidance, your tiger can learn from these mistakes to be even better individuals in the future.

 

Being a First Generation Student

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DaMika Woodard will be serving as the POL for the College of Art and Design. She is a Senior from DeRidder, Louisiana. She is majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy. She is involved in LSU Ambassadors, STRIPES, and Association of Pre-Physical Therapy Students. Her favorite spot on campus is Middleton Library. 

Being a first generation student is a great accomplishment that comes with a lot of pride, and a lot of pressure. I was proud to be the first person in my family to go to a four year university, but I also felt pressured to succeed. Statistically, the odds were not in my favor. It was reported that first generation students are the least likely to graduate from four year universities; I did not want that to be my story. Growing up, I watched my mom bounce from job to job to provide for my siblings and I. My mother always told me things such as: “nothing is ever going to be given to you, you have to work for it. The world is yours, you just have to go and get it!” She constantly stressed the importance of education to us and made sure that we excelled academically. Thanks to her consistency, I graduated from DeRidder High School in 2013 in the top 15 percent of my class, and didn’t stop there! In the Fall of 2013, I began my journey as an LSU Tiger, which was a bittersweet transition for my mother and I. We were excited for this new chapter of my life, but also nervous; this was not only my first taste of college, but hers as well.

My first semester was challenging; not only academically, but in my personal life as well. I had trouble networking with others and keeping my parents up to date on information and events. In addition to those problems, I did not know how to properly study, manage my time, or how to handle my own finances. While trying to juggle it all, I came to the realization that I needed extra help; I could not do this alone. Thankfully, LSU has a service called Student Support Services. At the SSS, their mission is to work directly with first generation students from their freshman orientation to their graduation.

Damika PictureThey have services that teach the students about money management,studying styles, as well as time management. They also offer weekly tutoring sessions and peer mentors, who are first generation students, too. This made things easier because I was surrounded by people who understood me and could give me the extra help that I knew I needed. There are many times that I felt overwhelmed, but my on-campus support system encouraged me to keep going. Now, I am set to graduate in December of 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology. In the words of my mother, “The world is yours, you just have to go and get it.”
 

Freshman Survival Guide: Changing Majors

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Chandler Wall will be serving as the POL for Music and Dramatic Arts and the College of Agriculture. He is a Junior from Dallas, Texas. He is a Human Resources and Education major with a concentration in Leadership. He is involved with LSU Ambassadors and his favorite spot on campus is Mike’s Habitat. 

Changing your major is quite common to the average college student. I personally have changed my major a total of 4 times now and almost every time I had to change my senior college. I would think that this next one would be the major I graduate with, but each time I would realize that it wasn’t for me.  After I realized that my third major change wasn’t what I hoped it would be, I decided that it was time for me to change again. Except this time was different, this time I felt lost. This time I wasn’t changing my major because I found something I felt I liked better.

Chandler BlogI didn’t know what I wanted anymore, or what the best fit for me was. I just knew that I wasn’t happy in that major anymore. It was a terrifying feeling. I had just finished my sophomore year of college, now half way through my college career and I no longer knew what I wanted to do. I went and talked to my friends about what I should do next and they all said the same thing, “Pay a visit to the Olinde Career Center.” I had heard about it in the past but had never been there myself. I didn’t realize that I walked by it almost everyday in the Student Union. I wasn’t sure if it would be able to solve all my problems, but I knew that it was definitely worth a try.

When the new school year was starting I walked in and set up an appointment with a career counselor. She sat me down and we talked for a long while until she had a grasp on my situation. From there we started from scratch, we looked at many different majors offered by each college at LSU. She could tell that our conversation wasn’t getting me any closer to figuring out what I wanted to do. She then proposed that I take on online test known as the Strong Test. This test would help to tell me what kind of work style I had, what jobs would really suit me, which jobs wouldn’t, it even told me whaChandler Blog 3t majors I would work well in. So I went and took the test and I would meet back with her once the results came in.

About a week later, I went to meet her again to look at my results. I was surprised to see my test results were a stack of papers half an inch thick. They were telling me things about myself that I never realized and options that I had never even considered. We talked until I could narrow it down to three majors. Then I went and spoke to each senior college to weigh my options. Eventually I choose to go with Human Resources and Education. Words couldn’t describe the feeling of relief I had now that I had a major and a plan again. Sometimes people realize that they actual don’t want to major in what they came to college to study and that is okay. It’s better to realize this early during your undergrad, instead of a week before graduation or even after. The LSU Olinde Career Center is there for this specific purpose and it should definitely be utilized, because it definitely can’t hurt.

Getting Involved

Charlie POL pciCharlie Loupe will be serving as the POL for the College of Science and the School of Coast and Environment. He is a Junior from Slidell, Louisiana. He is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Beta Theta Pi. His favorite spot on campus is the Law School front steps over looking the Bell Tower and Tiger Stadium.

Getting involved on campus is very important in your student’s college career. Most parents tell their student they have to be in the library from morning until night studying so they can do the best that they possibly can. While it is great to be dedicated to your school work and make school the number one priority, your student needs something else in their life that allows them to get away from school for a second. I know that it sounds scary for your child to not think about school constantly, but I have learned that it’s healthy to get involved in college for several reasons.

Unfortunately, as your student progresses through college they will be stressed about a certain number of things. Through experience I have learned that when I am only preoccupied with one thing I tend to over think the situations I get in to, whether it’s tests, quizzes, or homework, and worry about them. In my first semester I knew no one at LSU, even though I am from Louisiana. I cried every now and then, calling my parents to tell them how scared I was. My mom always comforted me and said to go out there and meet other students so I could feel more comfortable at LSU. She was extremely persistent in making sure I went to get involved on campus. So the beginning weeks of college were rough for me until I decided to get involved.

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When I was attempting to decide which organization I should join I was lost. I searched everywhere looking for something that would suit me. I was constantly reminded of how awesome the LSU Ambassadors were and how much of a close-knit group they were; especially by my mother from her orientation experience. So, I decided to give it a shot even though I was not very fond of the idea of getting involved. I was terrified when I started the process of applying and trying out for Ambassadors. As I went through the selection process and interviews I met, what are now, the greatest friends I have ever had. After being selected to be an LSU Ambassador I was so excited because I finally found my place at LSU and could also call LSU my home away from home.

As an LSU Ambassador, whenever I served the community or those who were guests at LSU I felt so full of joy and happiness, which relieved most of my stress about schoolwork. Also, after making several friends within Ambassadors I felt more comfortable at LSU to the point where I could be more successful in my classes. This was proven true when I finished my first and second semester with a 4.0 GPA. It required me to work a little hard
than I had to, but the hard work showed me how to be dedicated to something you love.

charlie 3  Understanding that getting involved is just as important as your schoolwork is a difficult concept for some to grasp, but trust me it is extremely important. Personally, I find it imperative that students get involved in any way they can in order to be more successful at LSU. It does not have to happen your first semester if it makes you feel that uncomfortable, but a large part of college is stepping far out of your comfort zone and growing as a person. So please tell your students to not be afraid to feel uncomfortable and find their place on campus. It is the perfect formula for being successful at LSU and being able to proudly say, “I am an LSU Tiger”.

How I Made LSU My Home

Mel pic Mel Cotchery will be serving as the EJ Ourso College of Business POL. She is a Business Management major from Baton Rouge. She is involved in LSU Ambassadors and Black Student Union. Her favorite spot on campus is the Quad where she enjoys writing poetry. 

I would first like to start off by saying welcome to the Tiger family!! You and your student just made one of the best decisions of your lives. Just a little over a year ago, I was that first year student, and I had yet to learn that this was true. At that time, I did not even want to attend Louisiana State University, but now, it is my home.

While I was not born in Baton Rouge, I have lived here for most of my life, and therefore have been surrounded by the LSU football culture for over a decade now. I always cheered and rooted for the athletes in purple and gold, but I simply wanted a new experience. I wanted to branch out and move away. (Thankfully) things didn’t work out that way.

When it comes to college, everyone gets a fresh start. In a short amount of time, I learned that no matter how close your hometown is to your college campus, it will not affect your ability to adapt at a quicker (or slower) pace. Louisiana State University was a large adjustment for me, even though I am from right here in the capital city. The trick to kicking those first-year jitters is to explore. What are all your goals? What will you do to achieve them? What are your hobbies and how can you MELblog pic 1perfect your craft? What will make you comfortable in this new environment? These are questions that students should begin asking themselves. The answers can be found right here on campus, you just have to look.

Part of what makes your home your home is the comfort you feel. LSU wants you to feel comfortable and thrive in being yourself, which is why there are over 400 organizations offered on campus. Joining an organization or club makes your transition to college easier and more enjoyable. This was the major key in the start of my love life with LSU.

After watching the performance the orientation leaders put on at orientation last year, I knew that I wanted to be an LSU ambassador. I stayed in the loop and walked through Free Speech Plaza waiting to learn about them one day. Becoming a member of this wonderful organization not only satisfied my desire to serve my community, but in return it gave me amazing peers and a family at school.

If your student is not sure about all of organizations offered to them, I would recommend that you inform them about tigerlink.com. This website lists the numerous possibilities for getting involMel Blog pic 2ved on campus and presents a brief summary of what you could expect.

While getting involved is the number one tip I can give, that is not the only way to feel cozy. Sometimes, students want to take their first year to let everything sink in; there is nothing wrong with that! If groups and clubs aren’t for you, I would advise making new friends. Becoming friends with your classmates makes attending class more enjoyable, it provides you with a study group and if something comes up to where you miss class, you’ll be able to get the notes from that peer. A+ here you come!

Something I appreciate about my university is the constant communication they have with the students; we are always in the loop! Every student receives a registered email, and this is where they will receive a substantial amount of information about all things Tiger-related. Emails about tutoring, shows in the theatre, or even free food are sent to all students, letting us all know what we can expect in the near future. These events are great for mingling and winding down after a long week of school. Every student should definitely attend at least one event, especially their freshman year; you’ll soon see why this is the best university in the world!

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With all that being said, everything you and your student needs is here. There is a place for every single person on this campus and room for us all to flourish. If I, a person who had LSU at the bottom of her list of desired colleges, came to bleed purple and gold in a matter of weeks, I know that anyone can. Tell your student to take advantage of what is being offered to them; it’s the best way to make this house a home.

Sincerely, Mel Cotchery, a proud Tiger