Winter break is dwindling down and it is almost time to get back to school. I almost cannot believe that I only have 3 more semesters until I graduate! Woah--it sure does go by quickly! What makes matters even more stressful is that I think that this semester will be one of my toughest ones yet. However, this is not to say it will be one of my toughest semester academically. It appears that my checklist of tasks seems to grow more and more each day. Not only do I have my academic course load (including two engineering design courses), I have an abundance of extracurricular and general responsibilities that I will need to take care of. These responsibilities include:
- Strong Women, Strong Girls(SWSG): For those readers who do not know, SWSG is a not for profit mentoring organization in Pittsburgh. I am in my third year of mentoring and I serve as a Co-Chapter Coordinator. Next semester I will take on more responsibilities as I plan the spring field trip with the other Co-Chapter Coordinator and help to organize spring programming. Furthermore, I intend on applying for director next semester, which means that I will need to prepare an application and interview for the position later on in the semester.
- Emerging Leaders: Emerging Leaders is a first year leadership program organized by our Student Development offices. This is my second year as a mentor and third year as a participant. Our entire Emerging Leaders Program occurs during the Spring semester, which means that my list of responsibilities now include helping to facilitate an overnight retreat and guiding a group of first years through an eight-week series in which they develop a community service project to be executed on our 1000+ day of service. The good news is that I can have as much or as little involvement as I like(the first years are supposed to take the reins on their project) and I always enjoy my time working with the Emerging Leaders Program.
- Habitat for Humanity: I am so lucky to announce that I have been selected to attend CMU's first international Habitat for Humanity trip. During our spring break in March, me and around 10 other students will head to the Dominican Republic for a week to help to build a home. Now, with all of that excitement and fun comes a lot of responsibility. It seems like every week we get another e-mail detailing new tasks that we need to take care of; however, it will all be worth it once we get there. So far, I have sent in my deposit check and applied for a passport. I have a feeling that once school starts again, there will be a whirlwind of responsibilities until we actually get there. Did I mention that I am super excited!! I can't wait for Spring Break!
- Office of Admission: Of course I still have work as a tour guide and blogger--which in itself is very fun, yet time consuming. However, what can I do? I am a poor college student, so I can't complain.
- Internship Search: I have been pretty lucky in the summer job department. Every summer, I have pretty much had a job (or 2 or 3) without much trouble. However, this is my JUNIOR year which means that my summer internship can land me a job post graduation. Therefore, I am definitely more picky and meticulous when looking for an internship. Then again, I am also lazy. So, I am still on the search. It is a little tricky because you never know the exact right time to look for a job, but so far, I have contacted a couple of companies, interviewed for one and my prospects look good. I just know that I cannot drop the ball when it gets closer to crunch time.
- Miscellaneous Applications: My ONLY winter break goal was to complete two applications, which are not yet done. The first one is for the 2011 Student Freedom Rides. This is a ten day experience in which 40 college students get the opportunity to retrace the Freedom Rides of 1961. The application is so short but I am a super procrastinator---at least I am almost done! My second application is for an RA position for next year. I am pretty sure that I was born to be an RA but my fears of rejection always held me back. I am super pumped about the possibility of being an RA--yet again, the application is not complete. I still have two more days to complete these apps before I go back. However, even though I am pushing myself to get the applications done before Friday, in reality I have a couple of weeks before the applications are actually due.
- Finally the Fun Stuff: I have already begun planning the BEST 21st birthday party ever for myself. Although my plans are all contingent on me being in NYC for the summer, I am determined to make this work. So now instead of doing productive work like packing, or cleaning, or completing an application, I google "Best Clubs in NYC" or "NYC Boutique Hotels." Ahhh, what has gotten into me! I need to focus---focus Nicole, focus. Oh and by the way, did I mention, my birthday is at the end of June. This might as well be a wedding that I am planning.
Now, I know I probably sound like a lunatic. And yes, the above list does seem scary and daunting. But the truth is, I almost positive that this is the typical laundry list of responsibilities for most CMU students. I am absolutely NOT saying that you need to take on a billion things, but the people are CMU are usually those who are ambitious enough to take on the challenge. In the past 2.5 years that I have spent as a CMU student, I have met some of the most passionate, driven and multi-talented people that I have ever met in my life. Yes, I might be a civil engineering major, but I have a huge passion for community service. It is true that you come to college for an education, but please do not lose sight of the fact that you are still a living, breathing human being for the four (or five) years that you are here. Not only do you need to feed your mind but you also need to feed your soul, explore your hidden talents and push yourself further than ever before. I mean, who wants to grow old, have a boring desk job and realize that they missed out on potentially the most exciting years of their life?
I certainly don't.