• Courtney Stempinski

    Courtney Stempinski

    Class of 2017, Graduate Student
    Cambridge, MN
    Master of Education

    Courtney's Bio:
    I'm an Elementary Education major at CSS. I also plan to minor in Spanish. Having done PSEO, I came to CSS with more than 60 credits. I'm part of Volunteers Involved Through Action (VITA), Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF), and other clubs! Dance has been part of my life for 10 years, and now I'm trying to fit it into my schedule again. I love spending time watching Supernatural and Once Upon a Time, and reading Harry Potter and other great books. I live in a suite with 3 other girls, and we are always finding something fun to do around campus!

  • Daniela Moreno Gomez

    Senior
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Computer Information Systems and Finance

    Shivani Singh

    Junior
    Mumbai, India
    Management & Marketing

    Takudzwa Munjanja

    Senior
    Gweru, Zimbabwe
    Health Information Management, CIS minor

    Neena Koslowski

    Junior
    Apple Valley, MN
    Management

  • Brooke Elvehjem

    Junior
    Mora, MN
    Biology

    Conrado Eiroa Solans

    Senior
    Madrid, Spain
    Psychology Major, Biology minor

    Laila Zemar

    Sophomore
    Casablanca, Morocco
    Biochemistry, Biology and Pre-med

    Malvern Madondo

    Senior
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Mathematics & Computer Science

  • Halle Nystrom

    Graduate Student
    Fargo, ND
    M.S. Health Information Management

    Jason Chavez

    Senior
    Minneapolis, MN
    Psychology, Organizational Behavior, and Social Work

    Laura Salazar

    Senior
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Marketing and Business Management

    Jin Baek

    Senior
    Aurora, CO
    Biology and Chemistry (Pre-Med)

  • Katelyn Gehling

    Junior
    East Bethel, MN
    Exercise Physiology for Pre-Physical Therapy

    Shauney Moen

    Graduate Student
    Oak Grove, MN
    Doctorate of Physical Therapy

    Kathryn McCarrick

    Sophomore
    Saint Paul, MN
    Elementary Education

    Yael Ikoba-Ndjip

    Senior
    Brussels, Belgium
    Accounting Major; Finance minor

  • Bryan Chavez

    Junior
    Richfield, MN
    Accounting and Finance

Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in College

I am coming down to my last semester of college. I kind of have considered this past semester my last one because it was the last time I would have classes. Now I just have student teaching and the seminar with it. I spent 2 years doing PSEO in high school at my local community college and this will be my 3rd year at CSS. I’ve had my ups and downs here at CSS and here is the top 10 things I think I’ve learned while I was here, not necessarily in order of importance.

  1. It’s okay to question your original career plan. When I was a freshman, I began working in the Social Work Department. I didn’t really ever think anything of that career field until I was exposed to it by awesome professors I met. They really encouraged me to consider social work. I felt guilty at first, like I was cheating on my career goals. I had always wanted to be a teacher and now I might want to be social changer in another way?! Now I definitely know if I couldn’t be a teacher, I’d be a social worker. Who knows, maybe I’ll switch careers in 15 years. And it’s okay.
  2. Study abroad or you will regret it. Because I was interested in social work, I was invited to take a Social Justice in Jamaica course. That’s one of the ways I explored my options. For 9 days I got to explore the issues of Jamaican rehabilitation, homelessness, and child adoption. I also got to snorkel, swim, and float in a bio luminescent lagoon. If I had planned financially better, I would be going on a London trip this summer as well. I would regret so much if I hadn’t done the Jamaica trip.
  3. Your social circle will change and fluctuate in size throughout college much more than in high school. This is normal. My least two closest friends my first semester of college became my sophomore roommates and great friends. I still live with one (one transferred). All the people I was close friends with freshman year are no longer in my life and most of the friendships were extremely toxic. I even stopped being friends with one of my friends since 2nd grade, who went to CSS with me. Instead of trying to find friends through other friends, I find more compatible people through the clubs I’m in and things I’m into off-campus.
  4. Explore the city you’re going to college in. I think the only time people in my circle went off-campus my freshman year was to get food. Duluth has amazing food but it’s also beautiful and wonderful and has so many opportunities. I started volunteering off-campus on my own, working off-campus, exploring events… Life got even better.
  5. Volunteering makes you a better person and makes the world better. As a freshman, I did CSO. We volunteered across Duluth in different ways. I became a leader the past two years for it. I volunteered for Animal Allies. I went on the 3 Pay it Forward Tours. It feels good to do things and expect nothing in return except to help others. Try it.
  6. Bad things can happen that you have no control over, except how you respond to them. My freshman year I had crazy roommates, my good friend got cancer, and within a week my computer, phone, car, and even my hairbrush broke. My car was totaled by a drunk driver overnight while it was parked and my first replacement car went bad. Things happen and you have to respond to them with as much positivism as you’ve got.
  7. Professors each come with individual perspectives on the same subject. It’s important to hear all of those perspectives. I love all my professors within the Education Department.  I’ve also met great professors in the Art and Social Work Departments. I’ve learned so much. They all have different teaching styles and different background stories. Pick what you like best from each one of your mentors and try to emulate that.
  8. Always try to go for less and get more later if need be. I regret getting an unlimited meal plan my first semester. I didn’t eat that much and I saved $600 switching to a smaller plan the next semester. I thought I could afford living in a 4-bedroom this year and I’m downgrading to a Brick apartment. Save money when you can. Don’t overestimate how much you need luxuries.
  9. There should actually be a good amount of money in your savings account. When my car was totaled, it took weeks to get insurance money for it. I needed a car right away for work and field experience. Luckily I had my leftover loan money in my savings account for any emergencies. I totally thank my past self for this. Life happens and as you get older you won’t have others to help you bail out yourself. If you have extra money, that doesn’t mean to go ahead and spend it.
  10. Take advantage of freebies (you are probably actually paying for some regardless). There’s always events going on on campus. A part of your tuition goes towards technology fees, events, etc. Go take those fitness classes, watch movies in Science, smoothie days, pizza nights, all-school barbeques, whatever. Also look for free admission to fun things off-campus or always free things. You’re in college and you need to save money and do this.

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