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Take it From Me

CLE “Veterans” Share Wise Words with New Students

by Margot Latici, Career Development Coordinator Denver

CLE DenverIt 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!

If I’d Known

When I posed the question of “if you knew then what you know now” to Katy Oliver, a second year CLE student, she responded quickly without blinking an eye. Katy said, “if I knew I would develop so many friendships at CLE before I started, I wouldn’t have been so nervous or shy.” It is certainly hard to tell if you are going to like your roommate or fellow CLE students and that unknown can cause a lot of stress and anxiety before beginning the program. To help ease the integration for new students, realize you are all going through a similar process together. Attend socials, accept invites, put yourself out there and get to know people!

Another long-standing student of CLE, Cal Sheridan, brought up the concept of “pacing oneself.” Normally students start off with 3-4 classes at CCD. Cal recommends starting off with two classes to get your feet wet and lower one area of personal stress. You can’t control what your roommate is going to be like or how many papers you are going to have to write, so at least remove a variable and ease yourself into college level academics. If things are going well your first semester, you can always add on an intro to Japanese course or Russian Lit 210 during the following semester. Cal also reminds new students that eating out ALL the time gets expensive. It might be King Soopers’ sushi, but it’s still sushi… try to grocery shop and stick to your cooking groups as much as possible. Cal put in a disclaimer that this more of a “do as I say, not as I do” suggestion.

Weather, or Not

Finally Alex Fleener, our Portland transplant gave sage advice about Denver’s weather. At least 70% of the time it seems to be sunny and agreeable, but it is also unpredictable and emotionally jarring. It is almost guaranteed that you are going to receive a late spring snowstorm here. Alex mentioned to me if she knew we were going to get fluffy flakes in May, she would have kept her ski stuff out. Granted there was not a lot to ski on at the resorts, but it is a word to the wise to prepare for all types of exciting weather patterns here in CO. Knowing the climate and weather patterns of any new place is a very simple way to prepare for a new situation.

Best of luck to the new students this fall with their transition into life at CLE. Soon you’ll be giving your own wise advice to next year’s recruits.

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.

Rachel at CLE Davie

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

CLE Austin staff and students

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?

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