How did you spend your summer? Were you stationed by a pool, beach, or swim dock? Did you travel and go on all new adventures? Did you slave countless hours for minimum wage or did you earn credit at an internship? Whatever you did, I’m not sure it could compare to how I spent my summer at William Woods University’s Freshman Advantage!
When classes let out and the residence halls closed in May, I packed up my belongings and said tough goodbyes to my friends and my home-away-from-home, WWU. All of my friends and classmates would linger after their finals just to take in as much of the Woods that they could until next fall. Although I was sad to go back home, I knew Freshman Advantage was in less than a month and I would have the opportunity to return to campus for a month of fun, friends, and soon to be family!
What is Freshman Advantage? Freshman Advantage, often shortened to FA, is a kick start program for graduated high school seniors that plan on attending William Woods University. The program gives students real insight into what college is really like! For starters, students at FA take seven hours of class in three weeks and live in the residence halls. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of your future classmates as well!
My job at FA was to be a mentor and leader for the freshman students. I was there to tutor students in their classes, coordinate events and activities for the night, and be a friend and a guide. There was a fun activity planned for every week night. These ranged from a wiffleball tournament, to tie-dying t-shirts, to sand volleyball. The events were especially important because we got to learn more about the students and also bond as a group. On the weekends, we went off campus for activities like the St. Louis Zoo, the City Museum and Six Flags. I’ve lived in Missouri my whole life, but I had never visited these places before, so it was a lot of fun to experience St. Louis!
One of my favorite memories as a mentor was on the day of Costume Dodgeball, and all of the mentors got decked out in American flag gear. We had about an hour of down time and decided we didn't want our costumes to go to waste! What better way to show off your patriotic pride than standing outside and cheering for the USA? We made signs that said "Honk if you love America" and stood on the sidewalks for passing cars. It was so fun to see the looks on the drivers' faces when they saw us! There was so much honking and waving! I bet the mentees were embarrassed for us, but we really enjoyed singing and dancing and cheering. By the time we went for dodgeball, I was so worn out from jumping around that I could hardly even play!
I loved the activities we participated in, but my favorite part of Freshman Advantage, by far, was watching the students grow. As mentors, we got the chance to observe study habits, social interactions and each student’s interests throughout the month. Some students came in very shy and left as confident leaders! Some students came to WWU very uninterested but left as the most involved ones of the group! Students walked away from FA with the study skills, and true advantage of living as an independent college student. It was so rewarding to see what FA could actually do. When I see my mentees across campus now, I cannot help but smile because I am so proud of all their accomplishments!
Overall, the only thing I regret about Freshman Advantage is NOT going as a freshman! So for my closing comments, I would like to invite and encourage incoming freshmen to go out of your comfort zone and sign up for FA. It was so much fun being a mentor, so I cannot imagine how life changing it could be as a freshman. If you’d like more information about the program, check out it out at http://www.williamwoods.edu/admissions/freshman_advantage/index.asp.
Have a great day, and I hope to see you June 2014!
Hi, hello and happy (belated) New Year! I hope you all had fun ringing in 2013 and are going strong on your New Year’s resolutions!
I decided this year that I wasn’t going to make a “resolution.” Rather, my goal is to be intentional for the duration of the year to be smart with my money. You see, I kind of have a problem. No, it’s not with spending money. (That’s the easy part!) I just can’t seem to keep money in my bank account long enough for me to bat an eye!
BUT, that’s why I’m SO lucky that I have lots of campus jobs here at The Woods. This university offers students so many opportunities to make some extra money without having to search for employment in the Fulton community.
I am lucky enough to currently have four campus jobs: work study in the Office of Student Life, Phonathon, Telecounseling and working for the Office of Admissions as a University Ambassador. All together, these jobs equal out to be around eleven hours per week. (Not bad, huh?)
Every student on campus is eligible for a certain number of work study hours according to their FAFSA (that nasty little government form that everyone has to fill out annually). There are LOTS of work study opportunities on campus. You can work anywhere from athletics to the barn to local elementary schools to the mail room.
When I first signed up for work study, I decided to work for Debbie Schick in the Office of Student Life. Debbie is the campus “momma,” someone everyone goes to for help and advice about EVERYTHING. She is also in charge of the LEAD program. If students need replacement ID cards or have questions about their points, they can ask Debbie.
When I go to work, I usually cover Debbie’s lunch hour. I file papers, answer the phone, print new IDs, etc. The fun thing about working in the Office of Student life is that I’m not just working for Debbie. That department also includes Residential Life, Career Services, Faith, Counseling and Health Services and Multicultural Affairs, so I have LOTS of “bosses!” It’s so much fun.
This is my third year working as a Phonathon caller. At this amazing job, I call graduates of WWU, chat with them about their collegiate experience, and ask them if they’d like to make a monetary donation to the university. It is SO much fun; talking to women who graduated in the 1940s is one of the best parts because they have some VERY interesting stories from “back in their day.”
Telecounseling is another campus job that is pretty similar to Phonathon, except I call prospective students, not graduates. You have probably gotten a phone call or two from us before (hopefully you didn’t hang up!) I love chatting with students who are interested in The Woods and telling them all about why I love this school so much. I also answer questions they have about college life and invite them to attend campus events we have throughout the semester.
One of my favorite weekly jobs is working as a University Ambassador. Along with working in the Admissions Office twice a week giving campus tours to prospective students and their families, I also get to help with campus events such as Discovery Days and WWU 101! Plus, I get to write this blog! What could be better?
Along with the four jobs that I have right now, I’ve also had a couple other jobs that are more “seasonal.” One of them is being a Peer Mentor during Orientation Week. During that first week, I do different things like work the registration table, help students move in, attend orientation events, introduce students to each other, and help students navigate campus. It’s really fun and a GREAT way to get to know my newest peers!
“Working” as a Freshman Advantage mentor during the summer is probably one of THE BEST jobs I have ever had. The reason I put “working” in quotes is because it honestly didn’t even feel like a job! I basically got to hang out with a bunch of awesome students and mentors all day, plan fun events and enforce the rules of Residential Life. Freshman Advantage is one of the most amazing programs William Woods has to offer, and I strongly encourage you to look into it. (Don’t worry, you’ll learn more about this program in a future post!)
One job that I’ve never had personally but a lot of my friends have is a Community Advisor, or CA. This job includes promoting a sense of community among residents, coordinating CA events, and making sure residents are following the rules of the university.
I know I say this a lot, but I am so blessed to go to a university where I have so many opportunities at my fingertips. Where else could I gain the experience of six jobs in four years, not to mention the networking opportunities and the FUN!
If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you don’t have to work a crazy amount of hours but just want to make some extra spending money, then William Woods University is the place for you. If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you have the opportunity to try a new job in a safe environment, then William Woods University is the place for you. If you’re looking for a place to spend your college years where you can build your resume to pages and pages of greatness, then WILLIAM WOODS UNIVERSITY IS THE PLACE FOR YOU!
Hopefully with these next few months in front of me, and plenty of work ahead, I can save my money and prove to myself that I can be successful with my “resolution.” I think I have a pretty good chance, don’t you?
Anyway, I’d better get back to enjoying my last week of Christmas break while I can! I hope your new semester of classes has been going well and you stay true to your resolutions! (If you need a little encouragement, just holler!) Good luck!
Smiles and sunshine!
This summer was one of daring adventures, fun-in-the-sun, and pretty much living out of my car. When school ended, I headed home to Minnesota for a month and when that month was over, it was back to school for Freshman Advantage!
An awesome program, Freshman Advantage is open to all incoming freshmen students at William Woods, an opportunity to not only earn 7 credit hours, but also meet other students and make some pretty fantastic memories!
I was lucky enough to be a mentor this year along with 11 other current students and we had a BLAST! Split into four groups with three mentors each, the groups had around 10 students – my group’s name was the Screech Owls, our color was green, and it was pretty much the best group to be in! While Freshman Advantage was only three weeks long, I can definitely see the positive impact it had on the students that attended and looking around, it’s safe to say that the friendships made at Freshman Advantage are still going strong.
So my month of June was packed with new friends and great times! I would definitely do it all over again if I had the chance.