Remember what it was like to go off to college? Or perhaps you are currently planning for your own college experience. You are probably excited to move to a new city, make new friends and try new academic challenges, but it can also be a little scary to leave the familiar behind. Across the world, there are millions of students currently making the decision of where they will spend the next four years of their lives. Our very own Jessica Gomes is a college freshman sharing her experience with thousands of girls across the country.
Gomes is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is also one of only fifteen girls selected nationally as a blogger for Seventeen Magazine, where she writes weekly updates about her first-year experiences in college. Through this unique position she also serves as an ambassador, answering questions about what life is like during your freshman year for thousands of young readers of Seventeen. While sharing her stories with her online fans, such as a weekend trip to Orange County or the stress of staying up late to finish a college paper, she also provides insightful advice about selecting the right school, what to expect once you get there, tips for maneuvering the financial aid process, and how to manage the overall stress of your first year.
"I am grateful to USD for financial aid and academic support that make it possible to have the traditional college experience."
While giving Gomes experience with online communications and social networking sites, this opportunity has also pushed her to really evaluate her experiences at USD in order to offer future college students a real insight into all that she is experiencing. She has learned a lot about herself in this process, such as the fact that it is possible to manage a work-study position while taking a full load of classes, and that participating in programs that are important to her truly make her college experience more meaningful. One of these programs is Student Support Services (SSS), a program that works with students who are either first generation college students, from low-income families or have a disability, offering mentoring, tutoring and additional advising, among other services.
Through SSS and its sub-program TRIO, Gomes hosts high school students overnight to give them a glimpse into college life. These programs are important to her because her experience during her own overnight visit to USD is what convinced her to come here. Gomes believes strongly that you learn so much by talking to current students, visiting a campus and getting to know the community. Now, in her second semester Gomes knows that she made the right decision. With an intended major in psychology, she is using the liberal arts education to explore potential minors within the College of Arts and Sciences. She enjoys a variety of subjects such as history and logic, which her Core Curriculum requirements have exposed her to.
Her involvement in the Preceptorial Program, in which all freshmen participate, has encouraged a strong relationship with her professor and current advisor, Annette Taylor, PhD. Taylor commented that "Jessica is a great student; she’s an honors student and it shows in her whole attitude towards education." This positive attitude and love of education and the college experience is what makes her a great role model for future students.
Gomes is "grateful to USD for financial aid and academic support that make it possible to have the traditional college experience;" an experience that she shares weekly with the readers of Seventeen Magazine. For Jessica sharing the lessons that she has learned is her way of giving back for all the support that she receives here at USD.