Logan’s Final Thoughts

By: Logan

Editor’s note: This is Logan’s final (tears!) post as a consistent author on the blog. He wrote this up about a month ago as school was ending for the semester. Enjoy!

I have finally made it. I am sitting here on the Thursday of Finals Week, done with college forever. It really is a bittersweet feeling. I have had so many great memories and so much fun, but I am also extremely excited to move on to the next phase of my life. This past week I have been thinking about the last four years and just how much I have learned, as well as how much I have changed. When I first started college I had no idea where I would be in four years, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Flashback to me as a freshman, wide-eyed and eager to learn. I began as an Exercise Science major and wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do. It is interesting to see I ended up going a completely different way with my career. My major changed to psychology and I declared a minor in sociology. As far as my field of work I will be working for a transportation company in their operations department. Four years ago I probably could not have even imagined myself doing something like this, but we change a lot in four years.

Personality wise, I believe I have changed a lot as well. As a freshman, I was far more concerned with my activities and organizations than I was with my academic and work life. It seemed like meeting new people and enjoying myself was the main concern. This isn’t all bad, I met a lot of people and made a lot of connections, which is important. As time went along, my focus shifted to my schoolwork and work performance. My GPA rose, and I put more time and effort into my work. I learned many skills on how to present myself professionally and about business etiquette, and I have the counselors at Career and Internship Services to thank for that. I believe when I first came into college I was much more carefree. I am still a relaxed person overall, but I understand I need to get things done in a timely manner before engaging in social activities.

Over these last few years, I feel like I have grown a strong social network, which I am quite proud of. I gained a lot of connections while I was in a fraternity for 3 semesters, I met a lot of students and staff through my work at Career and Internship Services, and I met a lot of great friends just by trying out new friend groups and not limiting myself. I am glad I interacted with so many people because once I leave this place I want people to remember me.

I think this is the most important thing I have learned in college. Sometimes when we start school we believe we must have everything planned out. We think we need to have a set major and career path declared as soon as possible. I have learned this is not how it works. College is a learning experience and you will not know what you like until you try it. I think some of my best decisions have been when I have went out of my comfort zone and tried new things and I have many examples of this. A large contributor to declaring psych as my major was trying out random psychology electives. I knew nothing about psych, but I tried something new and loved it. Do not limit yourself, try things you never expected yourself to try!

I think we all change a bit in college. We get to find out who we really are and what we like. This is one thing I have learned about myself. In high school, I felt like I had to act like who everyone wanted me to be. In college, I have realized you can honestly be yourself and you do not have to care about what other people think. College is far less judgmental and there is really a place for everyone. So go out of your comfort zone, be yourself, and enjoy your college years because, sadly, it doesn’t last forever.

Read Logan’s other posts

Meet McKenzie

mckenzie-f16-web

Hey, I’m McKenzie and I am a double major in Cultural Entrepreneurship and Hispanic Studies. After this semester I will have completed my sophomore year at UMD. I moved to Duluth in Fall of 2015 and I found my favorite place soon after moving here my freshman year. There is a spot on the rocks near Lake Superior that is a bit of a hike, but well worth it. During the day you can dip your feet into the water and during the night you can set up a fire and gaze at the stars. I enjoy going into the woods and exploring new areas. I like to take my friends along with me since it is a great bonding experience when you discover new places together. I began working at Career and Internship Services Fall 2016, and it has been an amazing experience. Some of the best career advice that I have ever received was when I was told, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” My advice to peers about careers is an addition to the best career advice I have ever received. My advice is that our lives and the things that we love are constantly evolving, therefore our paths do not remain fixed, so always be open to opportunities and dabble with the ideas that grasp your curiosity.

Meet Whitney

whitney-s17-web

Name: Whitney
Majors: Psychology & Communication
Year in School: Senior
Length of time worked at UMD Career & Internship Services: January 2017
Favorite Place in Duluth: Dannie Duluth’s Consignment
Hobbies: Thrift shopping, kayaking, traveling, bargain hunting, and working on DIY projects

Best career advice I have received: What you want to do for the rest of your life isn’t a fill in the blank, it is a paragraph or essay question. (Basically, life does not need to be figured out all at once, you choose what you do, and you are not required to do one thing for the rest of your life.)

Career Advice: Branch out, discover new things about yourself, skills you have, and things you are interested in. You have many skills and strengths you can bring into anything you do. Put your time, effort, and energy into activities you enjoy and find valuable.

Meet Kimberly

kimberly-f16-web

Name: Kimberly
Major: Management Information System
Minor: Healthcare Management
Year: Junior
When I Started Working at C&IS: Fall 2016
Favorite Place in Duluth: The Lakewalk
Favorite Hobbies: Soccer, Volleyball, and Working Out
Fun Facts: I hate cheese.
Best Career Advice You’ve Received: Explore all the possibilities before you settle on a career.
Piece of Career Advice You Have for Other Students: Experiences is crucial; so never think you have enough.

Meet Tori

tori-f16-web

Name: Tori
Major: Human Resource Management
Minor: Communication
Year in school: Junior
Length of time worked at UMD Career & Internship Services: Started Fall 2016
Favorite place in Duluth: Hartley, Lester, and Chester Park… anywhere you can hammock!
Favorite hobbies: I love organizing, playing soccer and basketball, hiking, skiing, dancing at weddings, and driving up the shore with friends.
Fun Facts: I am from Austin, MN, also known as Spamtown, USA. I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, jumped in a glacier fjord in Norway, and summited three 14,000 foot mountains! If you get to know me well, you may get the chance to hear me drop a beat and rap.
Best career advice you’ve received: Connections are the key to success. Using who you know and what you know will get you to where you want to be. Continue to build new friendships, professional relationships, and make sure you maintain those connections. You never know who could have your back in the future.
Piece of advice you have for other students: Do your best and forget the rest! Be authentic. It’s so simple, but so true. Put your best foot forward and let others see who you are.

From Welcome Week to Commencement: Reflecting on My College Years

By: Katie

During my first week as a UMD student, I walked through a tunnel with my fellow incoming students, lined by upperclassmen orientation leaders, staff, and faculty cheering as we were welcomed to the UMD community. Just a couple months ago, I walked through a similar tunnel. Except this time, it was lined by faculty members dressed in commencement regalia while I was outfitted with my black robe and gold tassel. This time, I walked through that tunnel on my last day as a UMD student.

That wasn’t my last act as a member of the UMD community; I have still been working in the office over the summer. It also wasn’t my last day as a student, as I will be starting a graduate program this fall. But it was the last day of my four years as a UMD student, years which were filled with experiencing more change in myself than I could have possibly wrapped my mind around as a lost and intimidated freshman.

Katie tabling for C&IS at a Bulldog Friday Visit.
Katie tabling for C&IS at a Bulldog Friday Visit.

While at UMD, I spoke to a lecture hall’s worth of people, voluntarily, on several occasions. In high school, I couldn’t speak in front of a small class without my voice trembling. At UMD, I danced and yelled and acted a fool while wearing a bright t-shirt and flower headband, for a week, surrounded by hundreds of people. In high school, I did everything I could to disappear into my surroundings, and avoided attention at all costs. At UMD, I completed my psychology degree and got accepted into a counseling grad program. In high school, I had never taken a psychology class nor considered a profession in which I would be so closely involved with others.

I have a distinct and difficult memory of the day when I made the jump from my high school life to my college one. My parents and brothers had helped me move my things into my dorm and shop for dorm-friendly snacks and decor, and now all that was left was to say goodbye. Leading up to that day, I had been excited about being on my own. But when the moment came to stand on a new campus in a new city full of strangers while my family drove away, I hesitated. I tried feebly to say something that would keep them around a little longer, because I suddenly felt lost and alone, terrified of what my shy self would do when my support system left me.

I like to think of that moment when I look toward the day in the near future when I will be moving across the country to begin a new program at a new school in a state where I don’t know a soul. It’s a similar situation, yet this time, I’ll have four years of growth and strength to draw on. I started at UMD shy, timid, alone, and confused, but I’m leaving it open, confident, and capable.

Reflecting on all this, I can think of so many things I wish I could have told my college self throughout the past 4 years. In the absence of this opportunity, I’ll write my advice here, in the hopes that some other college student might benefit.

So, here’s what I can tell you. Know that you won’t be the same person as you move your tassel across your cap on commencement day as you were when you first walked on campus as an 18-year-old. Know that the changes that occur during that time in between are up to you, mostly. Know that your openness to new experiences, new people, and new ideas will become the foundation and the finishing touch on your college experience. Know that there will be things that happen to you, both good and bad, which will influence that experience just as much as the things you choose to do. Know that you don’t need to be in such a rush to figure it all out. It’ll happen somehow, perhaps without you even knowing it.

Most importantly, know that college is going to end one day, and after that, you are pushed out of the educational bubble you’ve lived in most of your life and will truly be responsible for the state of your existence. So before that day, take advantage of these years to focus on yourself.

Flip all the furniture around in the lounge of the dorm floor below yours (ahem..just kidding..I definitely never did that…). Stay up way too late hanging out with your friends even though you have a test at 8am the following day. I promise you, you’ll remember those late nights more than you’ll remember whatever grade you’ll get on that test. Take a ceramics class even though your parents are pushing you to be a doctor like the rest of the family. Embrace every crazy, fun, overwhelming, emotional, unforgettable moment.

If done right, your college years will be ones you’ll miss. I know I will.

Read Katie’s other posts

Meet Lexi

Lexi F15

Name: Lexi
Major: Urban & Regional Studies
Minor: Geographic Information Science
Year: Sophomore
When I first started working at C&IS: September of 2015
Favorite Place in Duluth: My favorite place in Duluth is a location named by the locals called Roxbury. It is a little hike off of the Superior Hiking Trail that is an open rock “platform” with amazing views. I go here to study, watch the sunset, have a picnic and relax. I love it because it over looks all of Duluth and Superior!
Favorite Hobbies: My favorite hobbies are playing sports, especially lacrosse and hockey.
Best career advice I have received: The best advice I have been given is actually a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Career advice that I have for others: Pursue what you are passionate about and do not settle for less. In the end, doing what you love will bring you the most happiness.