Young students enter college with a variety of notions about how to suceed. Each student at Centre College strives to do their best during their four years, however sometimes images of life at college get shatered upon arriving.

The amount of time and work required, living with a stranger, and making important life decisions are all something younger students struggle with.

The Student Senate is a student-elected body that serves as a forum for academic concern and a voice for students on committees of the College Council (the primary body in campus governance, comprised of faculty, staff, and student members).

Senators receive nominations from the Senate of the previous year, and are subject to election by the student body. Upon election, senators serve two years as senators starting their junior year.

The Senate seeks to provide students with academic tips and tools for success in their remaining time at Centre College, helping them avoid some of the pitfalls first-years tend to fall in to or to learn about aspects of college that they may not know about.

Research Opportunities:

Coming into campus as a first-year, I wish that I knew more about all of the research opportunities that Centre professors conduct. When I entered my major, I wish I had the opportunity to gain some experience applying the different information we learned through our courses.

I focused a lot of time and effort on trying to apply to Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) summer programs only to find that most of the programs wanted past experience or wanted a clearer definition of my study and career goals. During my junior year, I hunted for a professor willing to do research.

I found that most of the professors performing research preferred younger students to train since they are around for a longer period of time. In the end, I did find a professor to take me on and we have now worked together for almost a year.

Doing research with Centre professors allows you to develop lab and communication skills and gives you real-world experience in a contained environment that will allow you to gain more clarity on a major and career path. – Grace Anne Martin, Division III Senior Representative

Professor Relationships:

At Centre, you can really get to know your professors on another level, and I wish that I had taken advantage of this opportunity sooner. I’m naturally a very shy person, and I was too nervous to drop by my professor’s office hours. What questions should I ask? What if I don’t have any questions; should I still visit them, and what do I even talk about?

Looking back now from my perspective as a senior, I should have visited my professors at least once every week or so. I now know how much Centre professors care. There’s so much more to your relationship with your professors than your paper conferences.

My professors have experienced college, higher education, and the job search. They help me to be a better scholar.

Halloween parties at their houses, getting coffee together at Sandella’s, and the casual life-chat with my professors, show me that I have more than a mentor—I have a friend in each of my professors, which is what the Centre experience is all about.” – Kaitlin Parrish, Division II Junior Representative

Being academically adventurous:

School is weird. It’s this thing that’s supposed to teach you how to think about things and do things and prepare for “real things” after an eon of schooling finally ends—almost as if being a student isn’t effectively a real experience, only another step in the climb towards the apogee that is being a person.

As such, so often do we as students become caught in the stress and ineffable importance of being a doctor, lawyer, scientist, or anything that makes money that we lose the ability to think critically about anything that isn’t organic chemistry or trigonometric integrals or Benji Compson.

Experimenting with as disparate fields as Physics and Art History affords an opportunity to use various cognitive functions to their fullest, employing one to think analytically, critically, creatively, and comprehensively.

That is to say, engaging in material that may be “out of your niche” forces one not only to think in new and refreshing ways, but also to alter and further develop one’s study methods, worldview, and conception of the self.

As a student who as a first-year would cheekily assert his unalterable plan to major in Behavioral Neuroscience and Mathematics, I implore you to consider experimenting—who knows where it may take you?” – Logan Pauley, President of the Student Senate

Like us on Facebook and follow @CentreSenate on Twitter. Contact the Student Senate with any questions.

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