Take a moment to get to know freshman Alexis Patrick, a member of the Bears LEAD program.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what are you majoring in, do you have siblings, what are you involved in on campus? My name is Alexis Patrick, I am from St. Louis Missouri and live with my brother and my mother. I am a freshman at Missouri State and at the moment my major is cell and molecular biology, intending on going to medical school. I say at the moment because I could change my mind about it.
What is the Bears Lead program, how does the program benefit students and why did you decide to join the program? I am involved in the Bears LEAD program at Missouri State which is a program that helps underrepresented students. Although it helps underrepresented students, anyone is welcome to join. It is an organization that helps us get involved more and make more connections with faculty and other students. The first reason I wanted to join the program was because you get to move into the dorms a day early (which was very nice), but I also joined because I thought it would be a great opportunity to make new friends. By being a part of the program, I have gained great connections with people that I would have never have met if I wasn’t in the program. I have a mentor that was assigned to me and I have monthly meetings with her. During these meetings, she gives me advice and tells me about opportunities that I should take advantage of which is very helpful. I also gained some really good friendships through the program. I met a lot of great people that I have a lot of fun spending time with.
What was the hardest part of your transition to college and how did you handle these issues? Personally, I did not have a hard time transitioning to college because there was always something to do for the first few weeks and I was always surrounded by people which made the transition a lot easier. But if I had to pick one thing that was hard it would be being away from my family. I am very close with my mom and my grandmother so it was hard not seeing them all the time because they were always there for me and when I moved away they weren’t able to be there as much, which was a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.
What advice would you offer to family members as they send their students off to college? The advice that I would offer to family members sending their students off to college is that they should send their student care packages or any type of mail. I love when I get a surprise in the mail from my family because it feels like they are still with me. I also suggest trying not to be a helicopter parent during this transition because it makes it harder for the student to transition and become independent.
What has been the best thing about living in a residence hall? What tips would you give our incoming students about residence hall life? I live on a co-ed floor in Blair-Shannon, and I absolutely love it. I live in a six person suite with a bathroom and a little living room. I love living there because people are always around. It is just a lot of fun having your closest friends around you all the time. There are there ups and downs of living with people though. If your student has trouble with their roommate or suite mate, I suggest talking to them and solving the problem before it gets worse. I never did that and my roommate woke me up every single day at 7:30 AM the entire year, I was going to burst by the end of the first month of the second semester but I finally talked to her and things got better. Another tip that I have about living in the resident halls is to get to know the people on the floor that you live on, because those are the people that you will create friendships with that will last forever.
What is the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it? The last movie that I saw was Black Panther and I 100% recommend it! It was fantastic!