How To Balance Everything

megMeg is a third-year undergraduate student from Lacombe, LA pursuing a degree in industrial engineering at LSU. She is actively involved in LSU Ambassadors as the current Funding and Financial chair while having also served as a 2015 Orientation Leader and 2015 SROW LSU representative. Her favorite things to do are travel and eat all the good Cajun food possible!

Balancing everything in college, especially your first few semesters, can be trickier than some of those equations you deal with in Calculus! There’s school work, plus organization meetings, job shifts, and more with a maximum of only twenty-four hours in a day. Here’s a few theories of what three years of college have taught me thus far:

  1. Get a planner and USE it – A planner could be anything from a small notebook to a large calendar where you keep everything in. I recommend checking out the bookstore and finding what works best for you. The important thing is to have one and actually use it. This can help you see as things are coming up ahead of time so you aren’t waiting until the last minute or forget.
  2. Have friends to hold you accountable – It’s great to have friends that you can hang out with outside of class and go on adventures with during the weekend, but it’s important to have the friends that will spend an afternoon after class studying with you or working on that group project.
  3. Exercise – This is such an underrated component of keeping students happy and healthy in college! Even if it is just thirty minutes on a UREC machine or maybe an hour-long fitness class, just go and do something. Getting your body moving and focusing on yourself for a little while each day can help keep you focused. 
  4. Get involved but don’t overdo it – This meg2may not make sense now, but you’ll know when you get to this point. It’s great to be involved, but maybe you joined one organization too many and now you’re struggling to keep up with all your obligations. Maybe you’re finding yourself spending a large majority of your time on one specific involvement of yours and not keeping up with the other aspects of your life. To quote my mother, “Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!” 
  5. Don’t forget to call home – Sometimes you just need time to chat with people you love from home that keep you grounded. All I can say is thank goodness my wireless provider has unlimited call minutes because I sure do wear out my mom’s phone catching up about our week or even sometimes the simpler questions like how long do I leave a chicken in the oven before I know it’s cooked. 
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New Year, New Semester, Fresh Start

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Lexi is first-year graduate student at LSU, pursuing an MBA with a specialization in marketing analytics. She currently serves as the marketing & communication graduate assistant at LSU First Year Experience (FYE). Before pursuing her master’s degree, Lexi received her bachelor’s degree in mass communication: public relations from LSU. She is from the small town of Lockport, LA, but has enjoyed living in Baton Rouge for the past five years.  

With a new year, comes a new semester and a fresh start at tackling classes and all of the exciting, yet occasionally stressful, things that come with any college experience. The best way to kick off a new semester is to take the time to reflect on the one that just passed. The very first thing all Tigers should think is: “Wow! I conquered another (or your first) semester toward a long-term goal I’ve set for myself!” This past fall semester was a rough start for everyone at LSU, and having made it through is a huge accomplishment that all Tigers should celebrate. After considering all that you’ve accomplished in the past semester, you should begin to think about things you can improve upon. Ask yourself, “How can I make the spring semester even better? How can I finish this year off strong?” As a Tiger with years of experience of balancing course work, student leadership and involvement, internships and work, as well as a social life; here’s the advice I would give any student on starting the semester off strong:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive! Plan ahead, Tigers! The best way to ensure that you start off the semester on the right foot, is to know what you want to accomplish. Set goals for yourself now, before the semester starts. While it sounds like a minor thing, starting classes with clear-cut goals of what you want to accomplish will take a massive amount of stress off of you during the first weeks of classes. I am a visual person, so the way that I set my goals is by writing down what I want to work toward, and even writing down how I am going to do it. This helps me stay focused, even when other things pop up.
  2. Tackle Homesickness. During my first few years at LSU, coming back to campus after the month-long break was tough because I would get used to being with my family and hometown friends again. While the saying, “There’s no place like home,” is absolutely true, the only way to make the feeling of homesickness subside is to make LSU your home. The best way to do this is to get involved and take advantage of the resources and events that the University offers. You should take comfort in the fact that your becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be, and you’re accomplishing a major goal by being here.
  3. Stick to the rule of three! I am a big believer that the more involved you are, the better you do in school. With that being said, I also believe that you cannot give a thousand things 100 percent of your ability all at the same time. So my advice is to stop doing several things half-way and do three things extremely well. For example, during my senior year of my undergraduate time at LSU my three things were doing well in school, serving as vice president of PRSSA at LSU and my job at LSU FYE. When you focus all of your effort on only a few specialized things, you’d be amazed at all you can accomplish and how well-received your work will be amongst your superiors and teachers. My advice for how to narrow down to only three things is to stick with what is going to help you accomplish the goals you’ve set (See #1).
  4. Know what helps you de-stress! Sometimes no matter how much you plan in advance, the stress of the semester still sneaks up on you. When this happens, it is good to know what is going to make you feel better and gain a handle on things. For me, depending on how stressed I was at the time, it could be as simple as taking a few deep breaths and watching my favorite TV show or even going for a run regularly. Everyone is different, but it will be helpful to have a healthy way to de-stress in mind when that overwhelming feeling sneaks up on you. LSU’s Center for Academic Success has great examples of ways to manage stress, and the LSU UREC has a lot of active ways to decompress.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I would be willing to bet that there are very few, if any, successful people out there who achieved their success without the help and guidance of others. That is why it is important to know your limits, and know when you may need help from a classmate or a tutor, or when you may need to take advantage of the additional resources on campus. Asking for help will never hinder you from reaching a goal, but giving up surely will.
  6. Know that you can do it! You’ve already made it through one semester this year, so there is no doubt you’ll make it through this one! You can accomplish all of the goals you set by staying focused, organized and working hard. Good luck this semester, Tigers! Even though you won’t need it because I know you’ve got this semester covered.

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.

Finding The Major Key To Your Major

 

11011182_10205311904024452_5584625840562960430_nMeet Tori Callais, a Senior majoring in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Women and Gender Studies. She is also minoring is social work and sociology and is from Denham Springs, Louisiana. Tori is involved in LSU Ambassadors, NSCS, Leadership LSU and served as the Orientation Team Leader this past summer.

College is about finding out what you’re passionate about, who you are, who you want to be and finding what makes you excited to learn. Many of those things come from declaring your major once, twice, or maybe a few more times (it happens). Each major is like a different shoe and it’s up to you to find the perfect style and fit for you. Once you find that major that makes you excited to learn and passionate about going to class- it’s a pretty incredible feeling. Sometimes finding it can take years, or maybe if you’re lucky you knew right from the start. But once you find the major that is fit for you and challenges you, how do you react when people shut it down? Or decide that your major and your passions are irrelevant?

There always seems to be this ranking of “important majors” to “less important majors.” You can hear it walking through the Student Union or the library on any given day. “Oh you’re an engineer? You’re going places!” “Oh, you’re majoring in Liberal Arts? Oh…”. Needless to say comments like these help keep this system of “important” majors and “less important” majors in the mindset of many students. But why do we celebrate some majors over others instead of supporting the pursuit of different academic realms? best-memes-boromir

When talking to my best friend the other day about our majors, I noticed that we both have found our niche in college and although our majors aren’t considered money makers in the future, they truly inspire us to learn as much as possible and to continue our academic careers. One thing he said that was upsetting and was something I identified with as well, was how when he told people his major they looked at him with disapproval or even pity. His major of sports administration prompts many questions from friends and family alone of, “what are you going to do with that?” Comments like, “that’s not a real major” from outsiders don’t do much to help one’s confidence on their academic endeavors. Both of our majors will require us to attend graduate school after our undergraduate years, but we both love what we study and going to school a little longer is a plus for us. This conversation I had with him has been repeated in different ways with other friends countless times, and I’m sure other students have had similar conversations as well. So, what do you do if the only people who see the value in your degree are at a limited number?

Tips and tricks for those who have ever been this situation: 

* Be confident in your studies. You chose your degree path for a reason, and it’s important to be confident in that decision. If you aren’t confident in your studies, who else will be?

* Take time to explain why you chose your degree path, and the different places it can take you.

* Don’t be afraid to open up dialogue about your passions. When people see your excitement about your major, they will be able to see the significance of it.

* Encourage others to open up meaningful dialogue with others about what their degree path offers for them.

Although my major does not guarantee a hefty paycheck one day, my academic studies have made me find what I want to pursue after college. I am always excited to go to class because I am learning about something I truly love and want to gain more knowledge on. You’ll never hear me complaining about one of my classes, and I walk with confidence about my degree. Remember that college is a huge and it can be your platform to be the person you want to be. Always stay true to who you are and find your own passion, no matter the title of the degree. And of course, Love Purple and Live Gold!12299110_10205596576741092_4483773923760294457_n

Welcome Back Tips

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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.

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. 

Prologue:

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!