Hey, all you Bengals! It’s me, Bri, again! As NSO 2016 draws nearer, I’m getting more and more excited to finally meet each and every one of you! I have a feeling that this year’s New Student Orientation is going to be the best yet.
College often feels like a delicate balancing act; however, it’s important to utilize this summer of preparation to your full advantage so that you enter your first year of college with confidence. College is a wonderful opportunity to practice being an independent adult. And, while it seems cool that you get to set your own curfew or eat ice cream for dinner, it’s also completely terrifying to be entirely responsible for yourself.
College is all about making the most of your experience. Sometimes, that means going to bed at 10:00pm so that you get enough sleep. Other times, that means eating a salad with your third piece of pizza at the Turner cafeteria because vegetables are healthy. But, the best times are those that you get to spend making memories and friends that will last a lifetime. As I enter my third year here at Idaho State University, I’d like to share a few of the experiences and opportunities I have had so far that may help you feel more prepared and excited to make the most of your Bengal experience!
CAREER PATH INTERNSHIP (CPI)
As an incoming freshman, I did not originally anticipate attempting to hold a job throughout my first year of college. I wanted to focus on my academics without having to entirely compromise my social life because of any added stress or responsibility. However, over the summer before I came to ISU, I received various e-mails and flyers containing information regarding the Idaho State University Career Path Internship (CPI) Program. At first, I disregarded the information because I truly did not want the added pressures of a job. As I continued receiving information and did some personal research on the program, I decided that I would apply for a position. The wonderful aspect of holding a CPI position is that students are placed in jobs based on their academic goals and anticipated area of study. As a Secondary English Education major, I was placed in the College of Education to gain first-hand experience working within local schools.
Becoming a part of the CPI program was one of the best decisions I made for my first-year experience! I was able to gain wisdom from teachers within the local school district, network with the College of Education faculty, and immediately have professional job experience added to my resume. Furthermore, because the CPI program is an on-campus job, the hours are entirely flexible and based on each students’ schedule and needs. This job opportunity opened countless doors for me, and it helped me to begin creating a balanced college experience. I now hold another CPI position through the University Honors Program, and I have been equally enriched by the opportunity to broaden my working experiences on campus. I have also had various other job opportunities on campus that have truly helped me grow as a student and a professional. I would encourage all of you to do some research and look into taking on an on-campus position in some form. There are so many incredible departments, faculty, and experiences just waiting for students to get involved! Do be aware, however, that a job is a major responsibility, and it does require an investment of time, resources, and focus on your part. If you are taking a heavy class-load, you already feel overwhelmed by other responsibilities, or you simply do not want the added stress, do not take on more than you are prepared to handle! Like I said, college is about making the most of your experience, and that includes knowing yourself well enough to create the experience that will be the most beneficial and fulfilling for you.
IDAHO STATE CIVIC SYMPHONY (AND OTHER FINE ARTS OPPORTUNITIES)
I come from an extremely musical family and participated in various musical outlets throughout my schooling. Idaho State University has proven to be a wonderful place to continue developing my musical abilities. Last year, I had the opportunity to play my cello as a member of the Idaho State Civic Symphony. We played incredible pieces, and I loved every minute of that experience! I am looking forward to another year performing with the symphony. Whether or not you ever plan on being a part of a musical program, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to see a classical symphony performance at the Stephens Performing Arts Center. Jensen Hall, the grand concert hall within the Performing Arts Center, boasts the most acoustically-sound auditorium west of the Mississippi River. Performance tickets are free for students, and it is a cultural experience you do not want to miss.
If you are already a major fan of classical music, then this is the perfect event for you to be a part of! For those of you who would not typically consider a night listening to a musical performance, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and support ISU’s fantastic music department. There are other incredible avenues of supporting ISU’s Fine Arts Department as well: go to a play or musical, support the various student choirs on campus, or take a walk through the student art on display in the Fine Arts Building. There are so many different ways to be a part of the Bengal college experience. I am going to say it again (are you sensing the theme yet?!): College is about making the most of your experience. Get dressed up, brush up on your Beethoven, and take advantage of a night at the symphony!
UNIVERSITY HONORS PROGRAM
I love school, and I always have. I believe that education is the most powerful and fundamental aspect of the human experience which is much of the reason I decided to major in Education. I found my people in the University Honors Program. This organization is committed to collegiate academic success as well as equipping students with the resources, support, and knowledge to be successful beyond their undergraduate degree. This program connected me to professors who have given me more opportunities than I can list, classes that supplemented my educational experience, and friends who are like-minded in their pursuit of knowledge and success. In the Honors Program, I found a home away from home, and I am truly grateful to be a part of it. I encourage all of you to spend your first year finding your people. It may not be the University Honors Program (although, if it is, congratulations and welcome!). It may be Greek Life, ASISU (Associated Students of ISU), SAB (Student Activities Board), athletics or intramurals, theatre, or any other club or organization on campus. It may even be a plethora organizations. The Honors Program is just one of the many places on campus wherein I am involved and supported, and I encourage you to branch out and be a part of various clubs and organizations throughout your college experience! Idaho State University has endless opportunities to get involved and find like-minded Bengals who may just become your friends for life.
I could go on and on about countless other areas, programs, faculty, clubs, and organizations that have made my college experience as incredible as it has been. Ultimately, though, your first year experience, and every year after, begins with taking pride in what it means to be a Bengal. Because you’ve chosen Idaho State University, you are joining a community–a FAMILY–of students, professors, faculty, community members, and alumni that spans generations. You are the connection between ISU’s rich legacy and the vast future ahead. Every athletic game you support, every organization you join, and every class you take enriches not only your Bengal experience, but the experiences of your peers, the memories of those who paved the way before you, and the anticipation of those who will follow in your steps. Being a Bengal transcends your individual experience. It is when you realize the VALUE of your choice to be a Bengal, you rise up in pride, and you own you Bengal stripes that you will truly make the most of your college experience.
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