My Three Main Reasons for College

I consistently tell my students that, besides the obvious reasons of increasing earning potential and gaining job security, there are three main reasons to go to college: the academic experience, the professional experience, and the personal experience. While my academic experience was of course a big part of my college journey, I do not believe I would be the person I am today without the professional and the personal experiences afforded to me during my four years at UTSA.  

The Professional Experience:

As a freshman working at the Student Union (SU), I applied to attend a conference for the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) in Kansas City, Missouri. At the time I had no idea what it was, but this conference changed everything. 

The SU serves as “the heart of student life” as they like to call it at UTSA. I was enhancing the college experience for many students, and I have never again taken a job for granted, thinking I didn’t want to give it my all because the work didn’t matter. I would always find a way to make my work matter. From here on out, I took the initiative to apply for EVERY conference the Student Union would sponsor students to attend. I sat on the Student-Staff Development Committee as well as chaired the Student Union Advisory Council. If the SU was meant to be the heart of student life, I was going to do my part to make sure that’s what it was. Later, I also served as the Student Representative on the Leadership Council for ACUI.  

That first conference lit a fire in me, I don’t think I would have put myself in positions that ultimately made up my resume and the bulk of experience that I bring to the table for my current and future endeavors.   

  

The Personal Experience: 

From spending afternoons in the Sombrilla slacklining, evenings hammocking, and nights rock climbing, the UTSA Rock Climbing Club ensured that I never felt alone. Each day I had something to look forward to, and every weekend another trip to Enchanted Rock. Being outdoors fills my heart with so much joy, and to spend time outside with the most positive, accepting, and uplifting people I had ever met changed my attitude and changed the person I wanted to be for others. 

I had never been so happy in my life until I met the UTSA climbing club, and they continue to remain my San Antonio family to this day, nearly 5 years later. 

 

 

 

 

So if I may offer advice, it would be this: 

  1. Find a professional opportunity that excites you. Whether it’s a research opportunity, joining a council or committee, or seeking a leadership position within your organization. Find something and run with it.  
  1. Find your people. Explore student organizations and find your family on campus. They are essential to your happiness and ultimately your success.  

And the rest will happen as it should. 😊  

 

Best, 

Taylor Cole 

Road to Success Advisor 

MacArthur, Marshall, International School of the Americas 



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