What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
The most rewarding part of being a PLUS peer coordinator at the Sanger Learning Center is the sense of camaraderie. I have learned through my experience that it is indeed a team effort on behalf of the PLUS staff and its volunteers. Without mutual trust and active effort from all participants, the program would not be the same. I am glad I get to learn collaborative skills that will stick with me throughout any future career. And ultimately, it is awesome to celebrate with your peers when you have accomplished your goals.
What has been the most surprising aspect of your job?
I am most surprised with how invested I have gotten in my job. I came in with a motivated attitude to contribute, but now I find myself thinking of ways to go beyond the minimum in order to improve the program. Again, this investment is a result of the camaraderie and support within the program. I have realized, though, the outcome will only be as successful and the amount of effort you put into the work.
Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
I was most proud this semester when my PLUS facilitator team was first formed. We had yet to host any PLUS sessions for the semester, but just being able to congregate with a team that volunteered to facilitate collaborative studying is pretty exciting. It makes your realize that many students share similar values and ideas as you, and ultimately want the best outcome for those around them.
What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
I believe the biggest myth is that everyone is competing against each other. I was nervous to try to be a standout and excel against my peers when first coming to college, but I soon understood that everyone is in the same boat. Everyone strives to get good grades but also enjoy their college experience. I have found that, for the most part, peers are receptive to helping you out and supporting your academic endeavors.
Tell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in that same situation?
One of my greatest academic challenges so far at UT was my first “college-level” exam. I had considered myself a bright student in high school and approached my first exam with the same studying habits that I had in high school. This backfired immediately. Upon receiving my first college exam score, it was my first true “welcome to college” experience. However, this only made me realize that it was time to buckle down. I approached different methods of studying and used the resources that UT provides. I would recommend students in similar situations to not fear asking for help and using the resources around them (like PLUS), because ultimately it is your GPA and degree that are on the line.