In exactly twelve days, Jade Hanley and Emily DiBiase will become graduating members of the Class of 2015. As the students who have brought you Knight Life for the past few semesters, Jade and Emily wanted to share some of their advice with the Class of 2019 before they become official alumnae of the College.
On Opening Day
Jade: Don’t stress out on moving in with “strangers” because these people quickly become your Mount family. I’m still friends with my first roommates! Opening Day is a good time to get to know each other. This is also a crucial time to set up schedules. You should always know your roommate’s schedule (like when they wake up in the morning). Also, don’t be afraid to set up a cleaning schedule right away! It’s better now in a definitive format than later when dust bunnies are taking over.
Emily: Opening Day will be one of the most stressful and yet absolutely wonderful days of your life. The people who you meet today will be your classmates, co-workers, and best friends for the next four years and beyond. Make this a day to reinvent yourself and be whoever you want to be in a brand-new place! Also, go to the Club Fair on Opening night; getting involved on campus will make the Mount seem like your home in no time.
Jade: Take classes you enjoy. Remember, you are paying for school, so pay for something that you like. There are plenty of credits available in your schedule to take classes that you are generally interested in (Yoga, Martial Arts, etc.) or you could even get a minor in something (like if you are interested in Psychology, do it!). Learning should be fun, not a pain. Keep that in mind!
Right: Jade Hanley, Class of 2015
Emily: As tempting as it will be, it is never worth it to skip a class. You’re paying all of this tuition money so you can learn, and the only way you’ll do that is by going to class. Also, use syllabus week to your advantage by getting ahead. If you can stay a week ahead of assignments in your classes, finals week will be a lot less stressful.
Jade: No matter your major, do one. You never know if a career is the right choice for you until you are active in your field. I had no idea I could go into business with an English degree until Jane Hanley, the Mount’s Associate Director of Public Relations, told me that I could. She said that businesses can teach you how to do a job, but not how to write and speak eloquently. I ended up working for the Marketing Department for two years and figured out that it was the right place for me.
Emily: Get to the Career Center as soon as you can! You will hear this hundreds of times during your freshman year but believe me: getting an internship can be the single most important decision you make during your college years. My internship has not only provided me with so much real-world knowledge and confidence in my field, but it also gave me a leg-up in the job market that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Oh, and if you get the chance to intern with the Marketing Department, do it! It’s the best internship experience, and it’s right on campus!
Jade: Dr. Rae Fallon, associate professor of Psychology, gave me great advice: Go to bed the same day that you wake up. Getting adequate sleep is one of the only ways that a person will do well on any exam. Sleep helps you remember information. Always remember to schedule sleep into your study schedules, especially when you have multiple tests during one week.
Left: Emily DiBiase, Class of 2015
Emily: Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. For me, I start studying for an exam two weeks before it’s given and start writing papers ten days before they are due. Cramming never ends well. Also, as you’re waiting for a test to begin, let the last thing you study be something you already know. If the last thing you see before you begin a test is something you’re strong in, you will feel more confident going into the test itself.
On Clubs and Activities
Jade: Get involved! At one point early on in college, I felt very lonely. Especially being so far from home, I felt that all my friends were so far away. One person insisted that I had to go to MSMC Improv, the theatrical improvisational group on campus just to de-stress and relax for the night. Four years later, I am an officer in the club, and the members are my best friends. I don’t know where I would be without them, and it was the best thing I ever did.
Emily: You never know what that one club meeting will lead to here on campus. In four years, you could be looking back on your time at the Mount like me and think to yourself, wow, what if I hadn’t gone to that first Campus Ministry event? Yes, it was scary being the new freshman and feeling awkward, but if I hadn’t taken that first step, I wouldn’t have met the people I now call family. Also, participate in as many of the on-campus free activities that you can. You will make some of the greatest memories from college at these events, and trust me, you won’t often get offers of free food in the real world.
On the Mount
Jade: I’ll be the first to admit that I almost left the Mount because, as a new freshman, I was lonely and I secluded myself. However, it was in the close-knit family of the Mount community that I felt that I could become who I really was. It’s an incredible place. The people I met here are like no other. Also, my degree I am receiving in a few weeks could come from anywhere, but the quality of education cannot be replaced. I am so thankful for the amazing professors that are there for anything, whether it’s telling me to stop crying (on more than one occasion ﹘ thanks Dr. Pietros and Dr. Bhalla) or telling me I can do anything I put my mind to (Prof. Phillips, Dr. Sulit, Dr. Moran). The grades don’t come easy, but I don’t think degrees should come easy either. These professors actually make you think beyond the text and make learning interesting. I am so thankful for my education. The Mount is a little paradise inside the Hudson Valley where hard-working, genuine people come together. It’s sad to graduate and leave this place, but I have comfort knowing that the friends I made here are friends for a lifetime.
Emily: Enjoy every second that you have here in this wonderful place and let the Mount shape you into the adult you are meant to be. Do not be afraid to go into a professor’s office for more help or just to say hello; they could end up being your mentor for your senior research project in just a few years. Try out for the sports team or choir you don’t think you’ll ever get into; you may land the solo you never even dreamed of. Apply for that internship or on-campus job that seems out of reach; you might just find your passion. The Mount is where success happens every day. You just have to be brave enough to take that leap of faith and try.
Emily DiBiase, Class of 2015, is an English major from Mahopac, N.Y. with a concentration in Writing and minors in Religious Studies and Public Relations.
Jade Hanley, Class of 2015, is an English major from Manalapan, N.J. with minors in Psychology and General Science.