Before committing to Niagara University for my graduate degree, I had no idea where I wanted to go to school. I had some good options in front of me, all with their positives and their negatives. When I finally narrowed the search, I selected Niagara. I knew that no matter what, college was going to be what I made of it, and I wanted to make a name for myself.
When I got to Niagara, I did everything I could to get involved. Before college, I had always been busy, but I think many would agree with me when I say I brought it to a whole new level in college. By the end of college, I was balancing a dual education major with an extension, a minor, NUSGA (our student government), club soccer, a few other clubs and honor societies and working, all while maintaining an above average GPA. I would wake up at 5:30 every morning to student-teach, work, work on NUSGA events, complete my graduate work through online courses, and manage to grade papers and plan lessons, hoping to make it to bed before 1 the next morning.
Now, I am not saying all of this for boastful reasons, or to make people think I am crazy. I am saying all of this to give you a picture of my involvement at Niagara. In my opinion, the opportunities are truly immense and, in my opinion, to not get involved would be only cheating yourself. Extracurriculars show you the meaning of hard work, diversity, the importance of planning and time management - and those are only a few of the benefits!
After graduating in May 2014, I was hired as a high school math teacher in June, down in Hinesville, Ga. - talk about a quick turnaround! Before I knew it, I was packing my things and hitting the road (and, on a separate note, it was worth every obstacle I faced). Currently, I plan for three block classes with two modules, tutor almost every day after school, and take four online graduate classes at Niagara. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the chaos I faced in my undergraduate program, I definitely wouldn’t be able to do it.
My time at Niagara created a discipline in me that I do not think I could have gotten any other way. It has helped me balance my busy life, and provided me with many skills and resources that I use every single day - maybe not in the way I would have thought, but I use them nonetheless. I met so many people in the various activities I was involved with and it showed me ways to approach others with understanding, in all types of situations, and I met friends that I will have for a lifetime.
My experiences in college are memorable because I made sure I took advantage of every opportunity thrown my way, and that is a lesson learned that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.