It’s surreal really- I don’t think that I truly understood the weight of graduating and trying to determine the next steps of my life like I do right now. I’ve been a college student for five years and a peer mentor for three years, nine months, and twenty-nine days. Time definitely went by slowly but the fewer courses that I needed to complete the more time seemed to speed up. This particular blog post is being written because my time as an undergraduate student and peer mentor is coming to a close. As one of the first peer mentors that Missouri State has had, I will be handing over the reins to my present and future colleagues.
How it started
I came to Missouri State because I wanted to both experience college for myself and obtain my business degree. I had no clue what college life was going to be like, but I was excited to be in a new place and meet people. I struggled with my responsibilities as a student and as an individual, being away from home for the first time. There were times when I wanted to go home, or I really just missed being around my family, but I worked hard to get through my first year. As a sophomore, I took the advice of a campus staff member and decided to try out an on-campus job because I wanted to pay off my tuition and have money to spend when I needed it. After reading the job description for what was initially called a “peer counselor” I decided to apply for the job and was later hired. Being a peer mentor was my first ever job and I got a chance to experience things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I don’t think anyone really goes into college expecting to leave exactly how they came in. I definitely won’t leave Missouri State the same and I am grateful for that. I learned so much about the campus and just how many resources MSU has to offer its students. I was able to take what I was learning from being a part of the Center for Academic Success and Transitions (CAST) family and help other students around me. I want to thank my bosses, Kelly Wood and Tracey Glaessgen, for taking a chance on me while allowing me to not only grow but help other students in their pursuit of success. Suzanne Mwengi, the CAST secretary, is also someone that I would like to thank because without her guidance and welcoming demeanor I wouldn’t have been able to fulfill my role as a peer mentor. Every person that has been a part of CAST presently and in the past has helped me out in some capacity whether it’s answering my questions, listening to me talk, or just giving me the motivation to keep going. I can sit around and thank every single person that I have encountered but a better use of your time and mine is just saying thank you. Thank you to my CAST family, peer mentors, graduate assistants, and anyone that I was fortunate enough to meet during my time at Missouri State.
I realize that life does go on but I’m definitely going to be sad from time to time about closing this chapter of my life. I experienced so much in college from the pandemic to just attempting to become friends with strangers. I’m excited to see where life is going to go after college, including how I’m going to feel about not having morning classes or assignments that need to be turned in.
Deciding to come to Missouri State after graduating high school in 2018 was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. I met some of my closest friends, experienced personal growth, and made connections with people that I didn’t expect to. I’m extremely fortunate to have done so much in five years and I can’t wait to see how the peer mentor program develops in the years to come.
I want to tell you to not be afraid to try things out of your comfort zone and if you do and it doesn’t work out, be ready to try something else. From one student to another, take in every moment that you can, and enjoy your time as a student.
Thank you again to everyone for contributing and helping me with my success. I’m truly happy with how things have turned out for me and wish all the best to Missouri State Bears.
(Bio: I’m the middle child of seven kids in my immediate family. I’m currently a Senior Business major at Missouri State University.)