What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself in the last two years?
I was never shy growing up, but would have described myself as a quiet student. I would choose to sit and take it all in, vs. raise my hand and talk. Over the past two years, I have been surprised to learn that I am a good public speaker! I have never felt nervous in front of crowds before and throughout college, I began volunteering and being asked to speak on a variety of panels. My reputation as a panelist and my experience at SNHU, lead to the Office of Admissions asking me to be one of the student speakers at the Presidential Scholars dinner. I gave a ten-minute speech to a room of about 200 people. I was surprised how much I enjoyed speaking in front of such a crowd! This event went so well, that I was asked back to be the opening speaker at all other Admission related spring events, this being two Open Houses and two Accepted Student Day events. The largest crowd equaling 1,200 people! I now enjoying speaking so much, that I plan on submitting a speech to be the student speaker at graduation in May.
You are the Weekday Chair for C.A.P.E. (Coordinators of Activities and Programming Events) at Southern NH University; what are ways you encourage students to get involved with campus activities?
One of the most important aspects I learned about being involved is that students want to get involved so they feel connected and like they matter. This is exactly what I felt when I got involved. Due to this, in addition to making students active on campus, I want to share that feeling of connectedness. I encourage students by connecting them with a club or organization of their interest, but then help them build roots in that organization. For CAPE, I recruit students who have an interest in planning events and want to simply have fun! Then, once we are together as a group, I do my part in fostering friendships. For example, to celebrate their hard work so far, the Weekday Chair Committee had a family dinner and craft night back at my apartment on campus!
With being involved in so many activities, how do you find for yourself?
I make sure I set a limit of what I do each day, leaving time at the end of the day to watch a show or do some yoga. Also, I make sure I never loose touch of my priorities. Every Sunday our family, and some extended family, gather together to have old fashion family dinner at my Grandmother’s house. Many times I will arrive thinking about the next assignment I have to do or stressed about a paper I have to write. However, after spending time playing with my little cousins and doing dishes with my Mom, I remember very quickly the most important things in my life and the only way to stay balanced is to make time for things such as family, friends, and yourself.
What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
There are two pieces of advice I would give any freshman, these would be to get involved and smile! As I began to say earlier, being involved will give you a stronger sense of belonging and it is in these outlets where you will find your strongest friends. I would then tell them to just smile! It is expected and perfectly ok to feel nervous starting college, but if you smile and keep your mind open to new places and opportunities, great experiences can come from this. Step outside of your comfort zone with a smile and welcoming the help of others, this is the key to being successful.
Pitch Stay Work Play to a college student. Why should they want to stay, work and play in New Hampshire?
The tour guide in me wants to say that, “NH is in a perfect centralized location, an hour from the coast, mountains, and Boston!” The girl in me who has lived in NH her whole life would say something different. I would say to fully experience all NH has to offer, you need to see all aspects of it. Work for the businesses that are homegrown in the state and you will feel the strong sense of belonging and hospitality. Play at the beaches, mountains, or any of the other amazing outlets the state offers, and you’ll forget how small the state is because there is so much to do! Then if you do these things, you’ll be staying without even noticing it because it will already feel like home. I know this not because I am a trained tour guide who has read that facts, but because NH is my home.
You are pursuing a double major in BA Psychology and BA Child Development, what is your plan after graduation in 2016?
Hopefully graduate school! I am currently applying to counseling programs in NH and MA, and hope to hear back by early spring. My dream is to study counseling, specialize in expressive or art therapy, and work at Boston Children’s Hospital.
We know you love the Granite State, so tell us:
What’s your favorite ‘hidden gem’?
All the roads driving up to the White Mountains! You travel to see the sights, and don’t expect to get such amazing views along the way.
What’s your favorite local watering hole?
By watering hole, can you mean place for ice cream? Haha. I would say the Puritan! They are always the place for a late night treat, mint chip of course.
Where’s your favorite place to getaway for the weekend?
I love visiting any of the towns and beaches on the coast. One of my favorite places to visit is Rye Beach.
Which is the best season and why?
Although I am a beach bum at heart, I would have to say fall for sure! There is such a sprit in the air that time of year and there is no better place to apple pick than right here in NH!
Which city/town in NH have you yet to visit but look forward to when time presents itself? What do you want to do once you get there?
I would love to visit Meredith, NH. I took a Mount Washington Boat Cruise tour and the boat traveled into the edge of the town, it looked so beautiful and quaint. While there, it would be nice to eat at a local restaurant, visit the coast, and relax in some of the town parks.
Do you prefer the sunrise or the sunset? And where in NH do you catch the best?
I prefer the sunset over any of the northern mountains, I promise you wouldn’t be disappointed!