Meet Ashly Uss
Student leader Ashly Uss spoke with Director of New Student Engagement + Transition Alexa Simeone about transitioning from high school to college life during her first year at Emmanuel.
Alexa: What is your favorite thing about EC?
Ashly: My absolute favorite thing about EC is the fact that I always feel welcome. I love being able to sit in the Jean Yawkey Center in between classes and run into so many people that I know. It is definitely one of the perks of going to a smaller institution. Sometimes you'll be having a tough day, or you'll be over-tired from staying up all night writing a paper, and it REALLY brightens my mood so much to be able to run into a friend, or a professor that asks how its going. It's those small interactions that make getting up every day so worthwhile and so rewarding
Alexa: What was the most challenging part of your transition?
Ashly: The most challenging part of my transition was finding a balance. I was way too stressed about my classes and the workload that I think I missed out on a lot of fun events and bonding with my friends. I took a lot of my friends a bit too literally when they informed me that the workload would be a lot. I was also so stressed and deprived of having fun, that it was a stressful time. I do think that I've found a much better balance, and I saw major improvements in that balance in my second semester of college.
Alexa: What are you involved in?
Ashly: I recently served as an Orientation Leader, which was such a rewarding experience. I also am a Peer Leader for the Leadership Academy, which helps to train the first year students in becoming successful student leaders. I am the Logistics Coordinator for Student Adjustment Guided Effectively, a Research Assistant with Dr. Sears in the Chemistry department. I am a participant in the Four Year Service Program for Saint Ambrose Family Shelter in Dorchester, and am involved with Alternative Spring Break. Lastly, I work for the ARC as both a French Tutor and a note taker!
Alexa: What advice would you give incoming students?
Ashly: Have fun with all of this. While you are here at college to go to class and learn, Emmanuel will offer you the world and more if you are open to it, and if you are ambitious enough to go after the opportunity around you. One of the best things was being able to look back at my first year and be genuinely happy with all that I did. Take risks you may not have taken in high school. College is a completely fresh star. Don't let the things that held you back in high school, keep you back. Overcome those fears or worries and just go for it! I PROMISE it'll be worth it.
Alexa: If you could do it over again, what would you do the same? What would you change?
Ashly: As I briefly mentioned, I would definitely go back and have a bit more fun if I could. I wish I became familiar with the city earlier on. It wasn't until staying on campus over the summer that I really came to appreciate all the city offered. I wish I would have figured that out a lot sooner, as there are tons of free/inexpensive things to do and see super close to campus! I one hundred percent would not change my involvement. Although it has been a lot, I am more fulfilled at this current moment than I've been in my entire life, and I love all the organizations and programs I am a part of.
Alexa: Any final thoughts?
Ashly: Be thankful. There are going to be times where you're up all night studying, or fighting with your friends, or missing your folks from home. That being said, we're truthfully blessed to be here. If you keep that in mind, it will be a lot easier to stay motivated and to keep yourself focused. Don't waste a single second of college, because it is truthfully such a wonderful, powerful, and joyful gift! You have the opportunity to really put your heart and soul into this campus. Oh, and of course...Follow your bliss above everything.