Spring Forward, Fall Back
As the new school year sets upon us it is important to find inspiration to restart, reassess, and recommit. Some of you may be beginning your college journey, while others may be looking to synthesize the last three years’ knowledge about yourself and the world. Regardless of your point along the path, taking stock can only serve to make sure your bearing is true.
Take this semester as an opportunity to spring forward. Studies show that the involved student is the successful student. This is the sort of study that has a great deal of face validity to it. Of course students who engage other students, make friends in different spheres, and seek out new experiences are going to bond more, work harder, and feel more accomplishment when they succeed.
If you are not involved yet in the many different activities and organizations on campus, check out our new online service OrgSync. It puts information about every student group on campus in one place alongside a regularly updated calendar for events so you never miss out.
If you know you are going to be needed a job in a short nine months, make an appointment with one of our career counselors. Building a relationship with one of them can help you make that jump from graduated to employed.
Say you want to work on yourself – make an appointment with the University Counseling Center and meet with one our therapists on staff. We take pride in helping students through difficult times and sustaining the healthy student body here at Loyola.
Health is multifaceted, so take care of your body as well as your mind and set fitness goals now for the new school year. There are a variety of different classes available and staff that can help you work out effectively and safely.
Take a look at the offerings from Mission and Ministry such as CLC groups, the Awakening retreat, mission trips to Jamaica and Belize and attend to your spiritual side.
This is a short list and not meant to be exhaustive. Do your own research and take a (second) look at the fraternities/sororities on campus, our excellent athletics, and Student Government. Get involved from the beginning and you’ll find that Loyola is so much more than just the number of hours that you are taking this semester.
Fall Back into good habits. You are here for a reason. You are an accomplished student who has had experience at balancing academic, social, and personal demands. Trust yourself to be able to handle the fresh set of challenges that are laid out before you. Trust yourself that you know the difference between a night you need to lock yourself in the library and a night to explore the wonderful city of New Orleans. Trust yourself that if you feel a little homesick, you can find extra resolve by connecting with friends around you.
Take advantage of your Strengths Quest results and reflect on how you can make assignments and activities compliment these strengths. Accept that there are some things that you do better than anyone else you know and other things that require help to do well. Enhance these strengths and make yourself the expert for others to rely on when they need a great researcher, presenter, writer or group leader when you are assigned your next group project.
Lastly, Fall Back on those that support you and give back to those people when your spirit is feeling generous. This may mean picking up the tab on a late night Taco Bell run for your friends or a phone call to your parents to say thanks for the Walmart run they made right before dropping you off. This college thing is fun, but it is tough too. Give back when you can because a grateful spirit will maintain this support system in a genuine and meaningful way.
Good luck this Fall Semester and remember – Spring Forward and Fall Back!
Logan Williamson, LPC
University Counseling Center