mitch6My name is Mitch Berry, and I am a senior here at ISU University. I am an Orientation Coordinator, a friend, a student, and a resource. This will be my third year here on the ISU NSO team (new student orientation), and I couldn’t be more excited for this fall. The orientation team is working very diligently to plan an awesome program for all you new Bengals, and we can’t wait to meet you!

Attending ISU has changed multiple areas of my life, and I can say without a doubt that I am not the same person I was on my first day here. This may sound like a bad thing, but I promise you it is a wonderful feeling to see the changes in my life. My journey to ISU started a year after my high school graduation. Like most of you, I was itching to escape my normal routine and made a decision to attend another Idaho university right after my high school graduation. During this time, I was dreaming of being a successful college graduate, but I quickly realized that my decision had hindered my ability to succeed. I experienced a year of change, feeling lost, and realizing that my success was not so easily obtained. I transferred to ISU in 2012 and promised myself that I would change my life.

I chose to come to ISU because of the great educational programs offered here. I did not attend any New Student Orientation, which I highly regret, and I had no previous tour of the campus. I was essentially on my own journey and found an incredible university full of amazing staff, faculty, and students. My first year here on campus was full of late night study sessions, trying to find a group of friends, and creating my own version of success. I realized that all these roadblocks that I had encountered in my first year of being an “adult” had provided me with incredible motivation. I originally had no idea what to major in when I came to ISU, but through much debate with my academic counselor and an incredible class (Abnormal Psychology), I decided to major in Psychology. After finally figuring out what to study, the pressure of college seemed to fade away; I was excited and motivated to enter my next year at ISU.

Mitch 4I began to get involved with university housing and soon found my new life drive. Being involved!! When I was a part of Housing, the doors in my life seemed to open and provide advice, growth, and friendships. Being involved on campus provided me with a feeling of success and belonging which was critical to my journey at ISU. I began to seek out new areas of involvement and found multiple clubs, departments, and organizations. It was through this search that I found my “home-away-from-home” in the orientation office. The past three years of planning New Student Orientation have allowed me to create a pathway to success for multiple students and, in return, provided me with a greater sense of purpose.

While my road to ISU was not the easiest path, it taught me many valuable lessons and allowed me to actually grow into an “adult.” My words of advice would not fit on this short blog post, so I will offer you Bengals a few challenges, instead. My first challenge to you new Bengals would be to realize your potential and the privilege you have been given. Receiving a college degree is both a privilege and a responsibility: only 6.7% of the human race achieves their bachelor degree, so realize that this is an incredible opportunity to make a difference. Use this opportunity to create change, explore new ways of thinking, and develop multiple friendships. But most importantly, never let that small percentage (or any other statistic) discourage you from achieving your goals! Next, I want you to realize that nothing is holding you back, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. My second challenge that I offer to you is to live and breathe kindness. The world is to full of bitter people, and a little bit of kindness can cause a dramatic change in someone’s day. Always make an effort to smile at a stranger, hold the door open, or befriend someone outside your group. We can’t change the world in a day, but we can make a difference each day. My final challenge for you incoming Bengals is to never stop challenging the status quo. The world needs change, and we need to remind others that sometimes what’s normal is not always the best thing.

I can’t wait to meet all of you, and I hope you are getting excited for ISU New Student Orientation 2016!!

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Twitter: IdahoStMitch
Instagram: idahostatemitch
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