Theresa is a 2012 graduate from Ball State University. She graduated with a Bachelors of Art degree majoring in telecommunications with an emphasis in news from the College of Communication, Information, and Media with honors. Theresa returned to her small town near Louisville, Kentucky after graduation where she excelled in managing several small businesses. Recently, Theresa accepted a Director of First Impressions position with a bonding agency in Louisville, Kentucky. In Theresa’s spare time, she loves to travel.
Growing up, I never saw myself anywhere but my small town in Indiana. I never gave an out of town college much thought until late in my senior year of high school. All of my friends were making their college decisions, but I was still applying to all of the local schools. I had it narrowed down to two schools, the University of Louisville and Indiana Southeast University. Neither school had what I wanted to study, telecommunications, but I was about to settle with something similar and continue to live the life I had known in my familiar town.
All of that changed one day when I decided I didn’t deserve to be told what I could afford, where I could live, or how successful I would be. I made the decision to go over two hours away from my small town with the determination to make a difference. I chose Ball State University, a midsize public school located about an hour northeast of Indianapolis, known for their telecommunications department.
I believe any college student, not just freshman, can thrive. The recipe for success is written on the wall. Some choose to write their own recipe, some choose to follow the recipe, and some choose not to try it all. For me, college gave me an opportunity I had never had before. College was my time to shine, I decided to write my own recipe with the basis of success. I knew only two people going to Ball State University, but I feel that played a factor in my success. I made decent grades in high school, making the honor roll several times. In college, my mediocrity changed, I maintained all A’s for the first six semesters and eventually graduated with honors and on the Dean’s List.
Not everyone thrives in college, but with a few tips of advice, I feel I can help more students thrive. First, pick a major in which you are interested. You will spend at least the next four years studying, learning, and practicing what you choose, so choose wisely. Be wise in your decision, think long term, and don’t choose something based off what others choose. For me, the decision was easy. I knew I wanted to study broadcasting because I took mass media classes in high school. If you haven’t found what you are passionate about yet, it is okay to try different things in college and narrow it down from there. I suggest exploring as many different options as you can. Think what about will make you the happiest in the long run. If you enjoy what you are learning about, you will more than likely do better than in studying something you don’t care about.
Second, get to know your professors. If you declare a major early in your college career, chances are high you will have some of your professors repeatedly throughout the next four years. It is important to form a relationship with your professors. Many professors are professionals in the field they are teaching and they may be able to open doors for the students in which they see potential. I still keep in contact with several of my college professors, they have given me some of the best advice about life that no one else has ever offered.
Third, get involved within the university. Whether you enjoy skiing, singing, or maybe you’re really good at playing chess, chances are good there is a club for that offered at your university. It is important to meet people, network, and partake in activities outside of schoolwork. Most clubs allow you to be as involved or not as involved as you’d like to be. Getting involved allows you to relate with people from different backgrounds, which will help you succeed academically and within life itself.
In college, I looked forward to going to class. I enjoyed my classmates, my professors, but most of all, I enjoyed the subject of what I was learning. Overall, I enjoyed my time spent away from my small town. I graduated and came back to the small town, but I fully believe that I would never have had my success if I would’ve chose a different college and chosen to study something I wasn’t passionate about. Most importantly, I encourage freshman to enjoy themselves. College is a time to try to new things, learn new things, and experience new things. There is no better time than college to go after something you’ve always wanted to do.