August 10, 2020

A Monthly Blog Series from Student Affairs

By Dr. Laura Pantano

Coffee and books

Twenty-eight years ago this August, I began my college career. Looking back to those first days, I remember being excited about starting a new adventure. The idea of learning material that was interesting and would put me on a path towards a career was energizing.

I imagined sitting in deep intellectual lectures and becoming entrenched in learning. I could see myself studying in the library, tucked into stacks of books.  Late night study groups with new friends would be the norm. And although I didn’t care for the taste of coffee, I knew that I would become a coffee aficionado — after all, everyone in college drinks coffee, right? I couldn’t wait to get to campus and start the next chapter of my life.

>> Explore our vibrant student life here at NHTI!

Little did I know that the vision I had for my college experience would include experiences that I had not imagined. Did I learn new and interesting material? Yes. Did I find the materials and conversations with faculty to be energizing and motivating? Absolutely. Late nights at the library and study groups were definitely part of the mix, but what I really remember the most and that had the greatest impact on my college experience were the things that happened outside of the classroom.

My college experience was much more than books and lectures. It was filled with experiences that challenged my understanding of the world, connections I made with people, and out of the classroom experiences that allowed me to take what I was learning in class and apply them to real life. These are the things that shaped my college experience and that I remember with such vibrancy. Talking with my classmates on the way to lectures, seeing a hypnotist brought in by our Campus Activities Board, causal conversations with Prof. O’Connor after class, my involvement in student organizations, and the leadership opportunities that shaped me into the leader I am today — these were the special moments that I remember.

Yes, NHTI will look different this fall because of the COVID-19 guidelines, but there will still be opportunities for you to engage on campus. It’s easy for us to stay in our safe zone and only focus on our academic studies, but there’s a lot more to your experience at NHTI if you take a moment to look.

Student Life has a full calendar of events that will challenge and expand your perspective on world events and allow you to connect with other students, faculty, and staff in a virtual environment. From student organizations to leadership training to guest speakers, NHTI is ready for a full semester of engagement opportunities. I hope you will take the opportunity and see all that NHTI has to offer this year!

And, for the record, I never did acquire a taste for coffee.

>> View the Student Affairs list of fall events and mark your calendar!