Monday, December 2, 2019

What aids me through these tough times are the friendships

First-year Honors College students at Knoebel’s Amusement Park

As midterms arise and fall weather settled in, students acclimated toward college life. For myself, attending only three classes a week (each being three hours long), was not as unusual as my cohort feared it to be originally.

Although one may think, “How can you possibly tolerate being in class for that long?!”

I assure you that we as a team have been transforming together to ease into this new way of life. Mainly, most of our classes are discussion based which allows time to flow by more quickly without including heavy lecture. On the other hand, each week we have multiple assignments due for each class; notably, where I am still struggling on how to figure out the perfect arrangement of time management between a 20-hour graduate assistantship position in the Honors College, class, homework, and social activities.

First-year College Student Affairs cohort at CSA orientation
Yet, what aids me through these tough times are the friendships that I have built within my graduate program. Many of my peers, including myself, lean on one another for support and guidance on how they personally handle their work and as a means to handle our own stress.

Consequently, in all of our classes we have group projects which allow us to work with our peers and gain new insights on topics that we way not have known anything about. However, finding time to meet with our groups is not always the easiest thing to do, since every person has their own GA, class, homework schedule, and some students have another job, a family, or commute to campus.

While there are some days that have been completely stressful, there are more that remind me of how much I love being at Bloomsburg and in the College Student Affairs program. For example, with my assistantship, we took 100 students to New York to visit Ellis Island, and the 9/11 Museum. We frequently take them to Hazelton to volunteer with the young students there for educational services we can provide. Working with my students and supervisors has brought me such joy in a short amount of time that I cannot wait to see what is to come.

Until next time,

— Jen Cole, #ProfessionalU #SAPro

Cole is pursuing her Master's in Educational Leadership through Bloomsburg University's College Student Affairs (M.Ed.) program.