One of my biggest fears going from a high school class of 45 students to a college of about 1,900 was how I would leave all of the clubs and activities I was involved in and somehow restart in a different, much larger place. It’s hard to imagine having to transition while also trying to find places, groups and clubs on campus that you want to get involved in. When I arrived at Conn for my first year it was important to me that I joined clubs and took on other responsibilities outside of academics because I wanted to meet new people that I had shared interests with.
After many student activities fairs, discussions with my advisors, and probing of Connquest, the College's online database of clubs, I joined the women’s lacrosse club, which I am now co-president of. I am also a student advisor, an admission tour guide and a writer here with The Experience. Last spring I was selected to apply for something called the Sophomore Leadership Program. This sounded right up my alley as I had just finished applying for the various leadership positions listed above. It seemed like a great opportunity to gain leadership skills and meet even more students. I went ahead and applied online. A few weeks later, I received an email congratulating me; I had been chosen to be part of the program which would begin the fall of my sophomore year (this year). The ten-week program meets every Friday. Each week we learn a new skill, complete a new activity, or get familiar with a new campus resource. Together we completed a ropes course, conducted team building exercises, and heard from campus leaders like the Director of Wellbeing and Health Promotion CC Curtiss and the Director of Gender and Sexuality Programs Erin Duran. I was also lucky enough to participate in Clifton Strengths through the leadership program. Clifton Strengths is an online talent assessment tool that I used to discover my own personal strengths. These strengths were the basis of each discussion we had thereafter as we acknowledged them and learned more about ourselves and how they affect our everyday leadership skills.
Now, as the program comes to a close, not only have I learned much more about myself as a leader and developed new skills, but I’m leaving with a new group of friends. We ended the program with a graduation ceremony and dinner where we enjoyed a meal together and heard from Dean Arcelus, the dean of students.