On Sept. 15, the Women’s Center hosted a program entitled, Survival Tips for First Year Women, which turned out to be an event for women of all ages. This informative session led by Women’s Center President Cate DeSalvio, Vice President Jenn Halligan, Treasurer Dani Taroff, Secretary Kristine Paronto, and PR Chair Rebekah Balmer, was helpful for all West Chester students looking to make the most of their college years. The evening’s agenda consisted of ten survival tips. #1: Get Involved. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus. West Chester University offers different on campus employment opportunities. There are also many internships available for upperclassmen students looking for these opportunities. West Chester’s office of Recreation & Leisure offers intramural sports, which students can sign up for individually or on a team. There are over 220 clubs and organizations on campus, so there is certainly an organization for everyone. Being involved not only helps students get involved on campus and adds to the list of activities on a resume, but getting involved is the best way to make friends. Getting involved in an organization on campus is the best way to meet people, and better yet to make friends that have the same interests as you. The Leadership Resource Center is located in the student organizations complex in Sykes 218. This office contains many of the resources needed to keep student organizations running. The LEAD office has the complete listings of all student organizations and will surely help to find the perfect student organization for anyone to join. In the office there are Leadership Consultants and Graduate Assistants that serve as a resource to all student organizations looking for leadership assistance. #2: Having interaction with faculty and staff. Advisors for different student organizations are great resources. Not only are they great mentors to learn from, but later down the road they can also serve as a reference for a job or graduate school applications. The relationship between students and professors is also an important one. Getting to know your professors will be beneficial to learn as much as you can from them. These professors have been through everything that you are going through now and will serve as a great mentor. Professors can also serve as references, as you may need them later down the road. #3: Take advantage of the free stuff on campus. There is always free stuff on campus whether it’s free tutoring in the tutoring center or in the Writing Center. The Tutoring Center offers free tutors for many different classes. The Writing Center offers help in writing no matter where a student is in the process. Whether they’ve just begun brainstorming or they’ve just written their first draft, the Writing Center can help all students. There are music classes available. The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is another resource for students with all kinds of disabilities whether it’s due to test anxiety or being legally blind. West Chester has our very own Counseling Center, and all services in the Counseling Center are free to West Chester students too.
#4: Treat school like it’s a job. Keep up with your schoolwork and don’t procrastinate. Read ahead on your syllabus and complete assignments as soon as you have time to do it. Academics are primary reason students are at West Chester and shouldn’t be forgotten about. High GPA’s will assist students in getting awards, internships, scholarships and of course full-time positions after graduation. #5: Explore the Area. For many students coming to West Chester, it’s outside of the area they’ve grown up in. Get out and enjoy the new environment! Visit the shops and restaurants in town. Sprazzo was one of the places recommended for students, with their wide variety of ice cream and gelato flavors. There are many restaurants in town that even accept Rambucks. Many of the places will deliver, but also check out campusfood.com, where you can order the food online and have it be delivered right to your apartment or residence hall.
#6: Talk out your problems with roommate(s) and friends. If you have problems with your roommates or friends, talk out your differences before things get blown out of proportion. Talk to these people about these issues as soon as they arrive, so you can work through your problems and overcome them. Talk to your roommates and have an open line of communication. If talking to your friends and roommate(s) doesn’t work out how you hoped it would, students in the residence halls still have a great resource, their RA. They’re there to serve as a resource, so use them when you need their assistance.
#7: Safety in numbers. Safety is a priority for many students at West Chester. It’s important to walk in groups and make sure you never walk alone! If you’re on campus and don’t feel secure it’s important to know that you can always call public safety and they will escort you back to your residence hall. Public safety is an important phone number to have in your cell phones! 610-436-3311.
#8: Find a good place to study that works for you. There are plenty of places in the library, but more specifically there are classrooms and quiet floors that may be more up your alley. The Frederick Douglas Lounge, the quiet third floor of the Sykes Student Union Building is a great study area with not only a computer lab but plenty of couches to relax on. Some of the residence halls even have study lounges for the residents to use.
#9: Time Management Skills. Learn how to manage your time and organize it. Use a planner, agenda or create some kind of weekly schedule to keep your life in order. Time management skills are a great thing to acquire in college since we’re definitely going to need them in the real world. Learn how to prioritize and make a schedule that works for oneself.
#10: Stay Healthy. In order to function well, you need to take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough rest, and exercise, Walk down to south campus on a beautiful day instead of taking the bus. Every little bit of exercise counts. The gym in the Sykes Student Union is free for West Chester students. There is also a gym on south campus that is free to use during open hours when the schools’ sports teams aren’t using it. The Health and Wellness Center offers nutritionist to teach students about food, how to eat properly and they can help you to develop a plan that fits your life style.
The Women’s Center held a well designed program that covered a lot of ground. This event was only one of many different programs that the Women’s Center offers weekly. They meet on Mondays at 6 p.m. in Lawrence 220. They’re a great place for resource. The Women’s Center is a safe space that’s non-judgmental, and fully accepting of all members.
Jackie Aliotta is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with minors in business, techinical writing, and Spanish. She can be reached at JA609350@wcupa.edu.