Alexis is a sophomore studying International Business and Spanish. Over the summer, she split classes between EMU and Washtenaw Community College At EMU, she took Yoga and at WCC she took Introduction to Computer Information Systems, Business Communication, Microeconomics, and Intermediate Algebra. She took summer classes in order to speed up her graduation date and have all the classes she needs in order to join the COB her Junior year. She received A’s in each class.
She says the greatest challenge in taking summer classes was the accelerated pace and the ways they overlapped with each other. She says, “There were a few weeks where I was finding myself doing the work of 2 weeks in a normal (Fall/Winter) schedule in as little as 3 or 4 days.”
Alexis also worked 20-35 hours each week for most of the summer, while actively searching for new jobs both on campus and off. When asked how she managed to balance her schedule, she said:
“The real key is managing your time well, and avoiding distractions which make you unfocused. …This isn't to say there is no room for free time, personal activities or hobbies; it is simply important to note that when you take a class during the summer it is critical that your course work comes first, and your assignments are finished before you take time to go out and have fun.”
Alexis is taking 18 credits this fall and plans to work two jobs, one work study position and one off-campus job with Qdoba. She has lofty goals and the EMU TRiO SSS program is proud to have her as a member, and is excited to help her succeed in the upcoming semester!
Ashley is a junior studying Fashion Marketing Innovation and Japanese. She went to Washington D.C. over the summer for a Study Abroad course with the Leadership Department. She participated in the “Women, Leadership, & Change” course for a week in May where she visited museums, engaged with women’s organizations, and met with Senator Debbie Stabenow, Representative Debbie Dingle, and other members of the US Congress. She received an A in this course and said the connections she made with her classmates, and the professionals they met, were the most valuable aspect of the experience.
When asked why she took this course, Ashley said, “I was always interested in taking a leadership course and a feminist course, and ended up finding one that touched on both topics. I was a bit iffy about it at first because I wasn’t sure if I could get credit (that could count as Gen Ed), or if I can afford it. But, I met with my advisor and the program director and they helped me out a lot in the process.”
Ashley also worked three jobs over the summer, being the Summer Office Manager for the TRiO SSS program, an Office Assistant for Academic Success Partnerships, and an Advanced Cashier at Express. Altogether, she worked over 40 hours a week, while also working with Optimize where she was a Bold Futures facilitator. She also moved off campus and got her first apartment.
This fall, Ashley is taking 15 credits and working two jobs. She says the key to balance is building a daily routine that is manageable and easy to remember. She also says to “prioritize self-care and have a good support system, because they motivate me to do better.” The TRiO SSS office is incredibly proud of Ashley and the strides she is taking to better herself and those around her!