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If I Only Had a Time Machine

CLE Staff Revisit the Past to Give Advice to Themselves

by Scott Allen, Psy.D. Director of Psychological Services, CLE Austin

Much to our students’ surprise, CLE staff have not had entirely perfect first experiences away from home or in college. I asked CLE Austin staff, if you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing during these pivotal transitions, what would it be? Our answers are below…

CLE Austin staff and students

What would you have told yourself when you moved away from home for the first time?

Josh (Resident Advisor)
– Go back home; bills are hard so make sure all your “ducks are in a row first.”

Kendra (Academic Coordinator)
– Learn to cook early on (you’ll impress your college friends!) & a little cleaning each day saves you from a much bigger mess and headache later on!

Teresa (Student Services Coordinator)
– Believe in yourself.

Kati (Education Coordinator)
– Your life will be so much easier if you ‘clean as you go’ instead of letting it pile up for a week or two (or more!) and then have to dig out later.

Amanda (Tutor)
– I’ll let you know once I move out of my parents’ house.

Lacey (Tutor)
– You don’t need to bring this much stuff- less is more.

Cate (Tutor)
– Just try your best and don’t except perfection.

Scott (Psychologist)
– Work on establishing good cleaning habits when you start; bad habits can be hard to break.

Julie (Mentor)
– Don’t be afraid to live on your own. Roommates only sound fun.

Barbara (Tutor)
– When I left home at the age of 18 to join the US Air Force, I would have told myself that “big steps in your life take time to learn and nurture as you tackle responsibility, figure out who you are/ where you fit in the circle of life.”

Jessica (Tutor)
– Pizza is not a food group- I put on the “Freshman 40” instead of the “Freshman 15.”

Tamara (Mentor)
– Get overdraft protection; then, don’t overdraft.

Susan (Mentor)
– Love who you are!

Christy (Tutor)
– Slow down; you’ll get there

Bronwyn (Director)
– Set a weekly budget and stick to it, including saving some money.

What would you have told yourself during your first semester of college?

Kendra (Academic Coordinator)
– Ask for help! From other students, academic advisors, tutors, professors, anyone! There were a lot of resources available to me that I never took advantage of.

Josh (Resident Advisor)
– Try more things. Exploring interests is best done early on.

Teresa (Student Services Coordinator)
– It’s OK not to have everything figured out! And I’m still telling myself that today!

Kati (Education Coordinator)
– Get connected to your professors! Introduce yourself, go to office hours; it’s different from high school and the responsibility for making that contact falls on the student… not the teacher.

Amanda (Tutor)
– Everything you know about the years 700-1000 is probably wrong. Pay attention to the professor who says that the world went wrong at the Renaissance.

Lacey (Tutor)
– In order to be the person you want to be, you have to lose the fear of being wrong.

Cate (Tutor)
– Reach out to staff (professors and TA’s) more for tips and help. Don’t be so afraid to seek help.

Scott (Psychologist)
– It is not the same as high school. Even if you were a student who completed homework at school, you will need to set aside time to work and study. Set aside time for fun- join a club or group that gives you space to be yourself.

Julie (Mentor)
– Don’t be so hard on yourself; it’s OK to ask for help.

Barbara (Tutor)
– I would have told myself to be more mindful of asking for help, whether it be to my classmates or professors. I have learned over the years that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

Jessica (Tutor)
– Don’t be scared of having adventures. I’ve always wanted to try new things and get out there!

Tamara (Mentor)
– Look at the syllabus; don’t assume others will tell you what to do (and when it’s due).

Susan (Mentor)
– Study more, party less.

Christy D (Tutor)
– Three classes is, in fact, is a tough course load.

Bronwyn T (Director)
– Don’t get overwhelmed, once you get used to the new routine it will all be manageable.

David (Tutor/IT Coordinator)– Learning for myself through the good and (sometime really, really) bad has made me who I am today. I would do nothing to change any of those experiences that led me to it.

Newsletter Articles – September 2016

New student Justin B. receives the key to his apartment from center director Ric Kienzle

My name is Mike Kolenda. I’m a veteran student at College Living Experience. There’s a chance that you may be nervous about starting this program. Don’t worry, I was nervous too. Over time, I gained confidence, made some great friends, and had the time of my life at CLE. I’m writing to tell you how I adapted to the program so that you may have the chance to have a great opportunity like I did.

Solomon at CLE Austin

Growth mindset is when people believe that their abilities can be developed and improved by doing harder work. On the contrary, a fixed mindset is when people believe and fix in their minds that they will never get better at something. With having a fixed mindset you give up easily, which consequently prevents you from doing more challenging things. Therefore, you cannot improve. For instance, if someone has a fixed mindset that they will fail a subject course like math, they will always fail it and get no better at it. I have a growth mindset, which is favorable. A growth mindset has helped me in everyday life.

CLE Denver

It is a wonderful time of year here in Denver. The mornings are a little cooler, the leaves are starting to get flecks of gold and we received a fresh crop of smiling, yet bewildered faces. It is fall, and new student orientation. Despite having two weeks of orientation, getting adjusted to new living situations, new roommates, new peers, new places, new study habits, new jobs, new foods and new noises is a LOT of work. First you have to figure out your CLE schedule, then you have to figure out your academic schedule, then you have to figure out where your focus group is held and what isle they keep your favorite snack mix in at the grocery store.

To help ease the learning curve, I spoke to a few veteran CLE students to find out how their lives might have been a little different starting at CLE if they “knew then what they know now.” So here is some advice from CLE Denver students with deep roots and the benefit of hindsight!

Rachel at CLE Davie

My first times: an interview with Rachel Preston, First Year CLE Student.

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