People give students a lot of advice about college. “Live on campus,” they say. “Pick a major that will get you a job.” “Don’t spend all your time partying.” “Get an internship.” With so many well-intentioned words of wisdom flying around, it’s no wonder students have trouble sorting out what’s best.

As an adviser, I could provide the standard tips: go to class, do your reading, get involved; they are important. But every academic path is unique, and the best choices for one student may not be the best for you.

Here are six tips that will help you forge your path through college:

  1. Play to your passion.

Many students come in and ask, “What’s the best minor or double-major for an SOJC student?” The answer: Any of them. Media intersects with many different fields, so just about any other major or minor will be relevant as long as you are genuinely passionate about it.

  1. Dig in.

A lot of wonderful work happens in Allen Hall. It’s inspiring — and intimidating. Sometimes students don’t know how to get started on building professional experience because they feel unqualified to apply for opportunities. Before you give up, remember that all of the firm directors, producers and managing editors in this building had to begin somewhere. Don’t be afraid to apply for opportunities because you think you’re unqualified.

  1. Be a pro.

Professional, that is. You may think you haven’t yet entered the “real world,” but you have. The people around you are your professional colleagues. Impress them. You are, of course, encouraged to make mistakes; it’s the best way to learn, just be sure to take responsibility and learn from them. People will remember that you weren’t afraid to take risks and that you were professional when it mattered most.

  1. Go to class!

OK, this is a one-size-fits-all piece of advice, but you really need to do it. Class is where the magic happens–where you have your “a-ha” moment. It’s where you connect and collaborate with your peers and professors, who are also your future professional network. Don’t miss out.

  1. Ask for help.

I like to say that life happens while you’re in college. Inevitably, you will encounter bumps in the road. These can range from struggling in a class to something much more serious, like surviving sexual assault. If you’re like me, you might try to resolve your problems on your own. Don’t. Seek out an adviser, a professor or a mentor here on campus. We have a comprehensive understanding of the resources available to you, and if we can’t help, I guarantee we know someone who can. The University of Oregon is filled with people who genuinely care about you; you’re not just a number here.

  1. Be yourself.

As I said before, Allen Hall can be an intimidating place. Certain majors may attract students with similar characteristics, leaving those who don’t fit the mold to doubt their place. Keep in mind that it’s OK — even beneficial — to be different and to take a different approach. Your work and professional brand will be successful if they are genuine and genuinely reflect who you are and what you believe in.

Story by Miranda Atkinson, Assistant Director of Student Services

SOJC academic advisers earn top honors

The SOJC’s academic advisers have a lot on their plates. They’ve got more than 2,100 undergraduates to assist with academic and career goals, but they never seem to lose their passion for guiding students through tough life decisions.

For all that hard work and dedication, three SOJC advisers were recognized this year with awards and honors:

Sally Garner, director of student services, was named a mentor for the National Academic Advising Association’s Emerging Leaders Class of 2016-18. This competitive program allows advisers to work closely together to gain valuable skills, experience and knowledge in order to advance in leadership within the NACADA organization.

Miranda Atkinson, assistant director of student services, received the University of Oregon Excellent Professional Advising Award. This award is given to an adviser who has positively impacted and mentored undergraduate students and their educational experience at the UO.

Rachel Allen, career and academic advisor, was selected as the 2016 Excellence in Advising — Professional Adviser Winner by the NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee. The Excellence in Advising award recognizes outstanding advisers for their commitment and contributions to the improvement of undergraduate academic advising.

Congratulations to our SOJC advisers, and thank you for all you do!

Story by Nikki Kesaris ’18