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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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    Volunteer Service: Awakening an Advocate

    Lorise Diamond

    Organizing volunteer service is work: creating informational brochures, planning speakers, scheduling, and carrying out the business of public relations. But it’s worth it! Through collaborating with members of my Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter, two successful awareness events informed my classmates and community that the conversation about campus sexual assault will not be silenced.

    Compassionate action

    Nudging people into service evokes a peaceful place that dwells inside, a place that allows listening with the heart while engendering a strength of spirit that follows through with action. As Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dahlia Lama instructs, “It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.”

    It was compassionate action that led me to perform my most significant accomplishment as a student leader. I was introduced to the “It’s on Us” campaign to stop sexual assault on campus while researching for an English essay. My findings inspired me. From April 2015 until June 2016, I advocated for survivors, for prevention, and to promote awareness at my college.

    A team of citizens

    Realizing that the more people I could persuade to join me the better, I turned immediately to my Phi Theta Kappa chapter. They had the heart and the spirit. I only needed to share the facts. College students are most likely to be victims of sexual assault, typically by someone they know. Campus police departments are vulnerable to manipulating the statistics. In fact, our school newspaper had confirmed those things were happening on my campus. We must act! I explained “It’s on Us” campaign and read them the pledge: to intervene, to be observant, to believe survivors. That’s all it took. A team of citizen students formed.

    Service is challenging

    After sharing my vision of hosting an awareness event, the work began. I spent time with student organizations, campus administration, faculty, staff, and regional and national community support groups.  I was busy. Continuing to share my passion for the facts, I scheduled appointments to gain resources. The most creative part was designing informational brochures. Those had to be just right because more than 19,000 students would have access to them.

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    No Regrets: Finishing Your Freshman Year Strong

    Lorise Diamond

    Looking back on my freshman year, I can honestly say that I have no regrets. There is nothing I would have done differently. As my first day of community college approached, the imagery of my long-term goal, graduating from San Diego State University, loomed as a distant future. Only one thing stood in my way; the first step—earning an Associate degree. Preparing for the first day of class I asked myself, “What kind of student do you want to be?” My heart replied, “The kind who does their best.” I never imagined that degree would come with Honors. Here is my advice on how to finish your freshman year strong.

    Pace is important

    Whether you entered college straight from high school or are a lifelong learner, slow and steady wins the race. It had been a while since I had been in school. I knew that sitting in a classroom was the easy part. The challenge would be making time to engage. I began with just 2 interesting classes to gauge my comfort level. Each subsequent semester I added another until I reached 14 units. The most units I have taken in a semester is 19, which I only tried once and don’t recommend- only because it ends up being too many finals! Find a course load that feels comfortable for you.

    Have fun!

    Some prerequisites are not as interesting as others.  Pepper those prereqs with at least one fun class. Having a fun or interesting subject matter helped keep me engaged, especially on days when I didn’t feel like going to campus. Yes, it happens. Be sure to schedule a class that excites you.

    Attitude is everything! 

    My overall enthusiasm kept me engaged. It carried me through each semester. Most of all, I embrace myself. My dreams are important to me. When friends seem disappointed that I’d rather study than hang out, I let them know that being a good student is my job. My academic success is a direct result of dedication and discipline, which rely on my enthusiastic attitude. Real friends will offer support and even admire your brilliant decision to study. So, wake up, and show up!

    Determinedly, I moved forward toward my vision like a heat-seeking missile with a single-minded purpose: minimize distractions and be the best student that I can be.  It worked. I graduated from community college with honors, earning an Associate degree— Communication Studies for Transfer. Now, I’m a senior at SDSU. My vision is much closer to reality, and I still have friends, old and new. Therefore, the final advice I’d offer to freshmen is to envision your optimal future and then let every moment count toward that potential. Make it happen!