Embrace the benefits of a liberal arts college

Laura Haley

Chief Copy Editor

 

Reflecting on my Wooster experience, there are a few bits of advice I wish I’d known three years ago. Please note that I am not qualified to give advice. However, I’ve been at Woo long enough to know what Cheesy Thursdays are, and I think that gives me some sense of credibility.

My first piece of advice is to enjoy the people. There will never be another time in your life where you are surrounded by so many unique individuals — use them! By this, I mean ask as many questions as possible. Pick your professors’ brains. Ask them their favorite books, their favorite places they’ve traveled and why they love what they do. Remember, they are experts! How cool is it that every day we get to be surrounded by people who know so much and are willing to not only share what they know but to set aside time just to chat?

This leads me to my second piece of advice. Try your hardest not to burn any bridges. It’s a small campus and avoiding folks in the dining hall is never possible. Remind yourself that people come to Wooster because of the community. In essence, this means that everyone is willing to chat and/or extend a hand to some degree. Use our campus community to your advantage and build that network. The next Michelle Obama could be sitting next to you in class but now you’ll never be invited to her garden parties because you were too afraid to say hello.

Third, use the career center. As students, we hear about APEX a lot, and this is for good reason. I am convinced the career center folks are superheroes and I can’t thank them enough for the input and new perspectives they have provided me. Our Wooster experience does a great job of preparing us for the real world to do real work and the career center is there to help fine-tune our skills and put our best foot forward. When you’re an underclassman, the word ‘career’ is a far-fetched and scary term. However, if I had taken the time to have a 30-minute career coaching meeting once a week three years ago I can’t comprehend the opportunities I would have found and the alumni I would have been able to meet.

Just know you’re not alone. There are so many people who are right there with you and would love to be your cheerleader. Breathe, find a flex-momma and enjoy what’s to come.