As we come upon the last week of classes and finals I have been reflecting on my first year both in person and on campus. Memories keep flashing through my mind ranging from moving all my stuff into my room with my parents to meeting new friends at Matriculation, to sitting on the floor of the Toll browsing room playing cards, to going into the Motley for the first time.
While my first year on campus has not been perfect and came with some challenges I am so happy that I got to experience it and can’t wait to come back in the fall. One of the things I have learned through both my first year at Scripps virtually, and my sophomore year in person is the importance of being my own self-advocate.
College is said to be a place where people learn who they are and grow as people, which is totally true but a large piece of that is learning how to advocate for yourself and learn what you need.
Scripps has countless opportunities and resources for students to use, honestly when I first learned of all of them I was a little overwhelmed. At first, all of these places reach out to students saying to come to visit and learn about them, then the rest is up to the students. I personally was scared and didn’t know what reaching out to them would mean and how helpful they actually could be. Throughout the semester it could be frustrating having to reach out myself to resources when I was struggling and needed help.
I vividly remember complaining to my friends and parents about how I didn’t like having to do everything myself and that growing up was hard. I remember mentioning this to the person I was working with at the Academic Accommodations and Resources Office. Their response was, that sometimes you have to know what you need and tell me that you need it because otherwise, they can’t help support you in a productive way. I spent a lot of time figuring out what I needed and how my professors could help me and over time I decided to just do it and make appointments with professors to meet with them and tell them what I needed.
This is how I came to terms with my own self-advocacy and how to manage it. Self-advocacy is a lifelong skill that helps people excel in many different areas and especially is important in a school setting.
Don’t get me wrong this is a hard skill to learn and can take a lot of time to fully feel like you have a handle on it yourself. I am definitely still working on it, but college is a great place to do that. Scripps does a great job of pushing students to get to the point of reaching out and all the offices and resources at the college will help you figure out the rest if you don’t know where to go from there.
I think that the hardest piece of self-advocacy for me has been being able to ask for help when I need it. In a society where needing help is sometimes seen as a weakness, it was hard for me to push out of that mold, especially due to the different intersectional identities that I have. At Scripps, asking for help is not a sign of weakness but instead a strength that leads to better understanding and awareness. Scripps is a place where I feel I can test and try things, and learn from experiences without judgment. I have used this space to allow me to start and continue to develop my self-advocacy skills and general life skills.
I see self-advocacy everywhere I look on campus, from students banding together to make a change they feel extremely passionate about or hosting events to let other students know they are there for them.
As I have been reflecting on my past two years at Scripps and especially my first year on campus, I have been thinking about all the things I have learned and it makes me really excited to see how new opportunities and classes next year can continue to help me grow and change.
This is my last blog post for the 2021-2022 school year but I will be back next year! If you have any questions in the meantime about Scripps, or the college search in general feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org