SA Advice

Hannah AlversonBe adventurous and try new things! College is a time to explore, both academically and socially. Try taking a class in a subject that sounds fascinating, even if you have no background in that particular area. Also, explore new and intriguing extracurricular opportunities. You can find everything from rock climbing and Quidditch to an a cappella and theater groups on campus. Study hard, but don't forget to give yourself a break and have some fun!  -Hannah Alverson, Lyman 

Hallie BarkerIn your four years here, don’t be afraid to take challenging classes and step outside your comfort zone sometimes. Everyone at Whitman wants to see you succeed, but this doesn’t mean you must always get perfect grades or be the best in every class. Try doing something you’re really bad at, and have fun with it! When all is said and done, only you can really know how much you’ve learned, and as Norton Juster once wrote, “You often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than right for the wrong reasons”.   –Hallie Barker, Anderson

Ben CaldwellWhitman is a small community for a reason. It is an “intentional” community. Unlike many larger universities, everyone working or studying at Whitman had to work hard to get here, so every person in this community wants to be here. That provides unique opportunities, there is an intimacy and trust here that you won´t find in any other environment, so reach out, meet people, connect. Never hesitate to approach SAs, RAs, staff members, and Professors with questions. If you are interested in class, talk to the professor about it (in person if you can). Show them your passion and curiosity and see what happens. Even if they can´t put you in their class maybe they will recommend other classes you would enjoy or at the very least will remember you for the next time they teach the course.  If you approach all the social and academic opportunities offered to you at Whitman in this, by putting yourself forward instead of waiting for life to fall into your lap, you will get infinitely more out of your college experience. Join clubs, study in groups, run for leadership positions, go to office hours, volunteer in the community, try the different cultural events, and always attend lectures and workshops on campus. Make the most of it, it's worth it. I promise, people here will always respond positively to your passion. The Whitman community will always give support and encourage you, as long as you put in the effort.
-Ben Caldwell, Anderson 

Isabel ChristyCollege is a time to figure out what you are passionate about. So, get out there, join clubs, and take classes that interest you.  If you don’t know what interests you, or even if you do, try something new. You may just find a new passion.  Just remember, when you are excited about what you are doing, life is that much more enjoyable and finding motivation and meaning becomes that much easier.  –Isabel Christy, Jewett

John DeBuysser"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore." -Andre Gide.    Don't be afraid to explore campus activities and meet new friends.  Never gone rock climbing before?  Take a class and try it out.  Once you open yourself up to new things, you will be able to fully appreciate life at Whitman and all your wonderful peers.  -John DeBuysser, Jewett

Elise FrankWelcome to the happiest place on earth. You are surrounded by interesting, interested people that are hungry to experience what this world has to offer.  Ask a question every day, and in the words of Ms. Frizzle, "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"  -Elise Frank, Jewett

Lya A. HernandezNever underestimate yourself.  You are way smarter than what you think, and here you'll only grow even more.  Try many things, things that challenge you, things that you enjoy, and even things that in the past you might have considered not interesting.  You will be surprised of what you can learn.  But above everything else, always take care of yourself.  Call out for help if you need to; there is no shame in that.  Enjoy your time here! -Lya A. Hernandez, Jewett

Ye HeDon't be afraid when you go to a new school.  Instead, keep your silly smile and show your new friends who you are.  Don't be overly stressed out before your exams or papers.  Instead, always talk to your professors about your concerns and have faith in yourself.  When you feel overwhelmed, feel free to chat with  your SA.  We are here for you.   -Ye He, Anderson

Maria KajerclineCollege is a time to learn and grow both as a student and a person.  Although grades are important, try to focus on learning for the sake of learning; if you are really invested and interested in what you are learning, the grades will come.  Also, be sure to take a variety of classes and get involved in lots of different activities on campus.  One of the great things about a liberal arts school is the opportunity to expand your horizons and explore new things.  However, be careful not to do so much at once that you feel stressed and overloaded.  Remember that balance is essential!  In addition to academics and activities, socializing, relaxing, eating, and sleeping are all necessary pieces of a successful college experience.  -Maria Kajercline, Prentiss

Neha NaidooAs C.S. Lewis said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."  Look forward to exploring your current passions, but don't be afraid to discover new ones, as there is no shortage of resources to assist you on your journey  -Neha Naidoo

Nikita KomachkovWhen I came to Whitman, I said to myself:  "I will make college work for me."  Do utilize all the possible resources, meet new people, learn, and most importantly don't be afraid to make mistakes.  -Nikita Komachkov, Jewett

Faith NyakundiWhitman can be as challenging, or as comfortable as you wish to make it.  Each student's experience is unique, and the choice to a Whittie lifestyle is personal.  It is inevitable to avoid subjectivity when interacting with certain courses, faculty, community members, and finding a niche.  If only there was a way to some advice on the do's and don'ts in the community, and just throw ourselves in the ring willing to explore with a clean slate.  Such is the attitude I would advise to anyone to have:  while people's opinions are helpful in a new community, keep an open mind as you explore and come up with your own.  -Faith Nyakundi, Prentiss

Paige OrganickI agree with the words your teachers, friends, and wise elders have undoubtedly bestowed upon you.  You are about to embark on a great journey.  There will be challenges, but nothing that you can't overcome because Whitman wouldn't have accepted you if they didn't think you could succeed.  But you've already heard this before, so I'll leave you with this quote by Danny Gokey:  "If anyone ever tells you your dreams are silly, remember there's some millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle."  -Paige Organick

Sam Reddy"College is the time to expand your horizons, to try new things!"  Everyone has heard it.  In fact, by this point, it's practically a cliché.  Why?  Because it's true!  College is such a transformative stage of our lives.  While academics seem of utmost importance at the onset, once several semesters in, it becomes apparent that the most crucial role of college is to help you become comfortable in your own skin.  As the illustrious Brian Glickman once said, "Simply enjoy yourself!"  Join a club, read for pleasure, and engage with what excites you.  As Steve Jobs once said, "Everything that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you."  Thus, go forth and be yourself.  -Sam Reddy, Anderson

Oliva SasakiFinding a balance between academics, activities, friends, and personal health/happiness is so important for getting the most out of your Whitman experience.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to study and complete your work so you can go out and enjoy the many incredible memories in the making that are in store for you.  Use the transition into college to develop the interests you have but also to explore things you may not have considered.  Put in the work so you can just enjoy life!  -Oliva Sasaki

Groover Snell"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.  -Socrates.  Socrates realized that he knew nothing.  Be humble and open to new ideas, but also don't accept them blindly.  Beware the eighteen-year-old who claims to be an expert on life and love.  Try to be wise by holding yourself and others up to scrutiny.  You'll have much to learn, experience, and enjoy; make the most of it by being both receptive and questioning.  -Groover Snell