Meet Allie Bleier
Student leader Allie Bleier spoke with Director of First-Year Experience Kelly Dunn about transitioning from high school to college life during her first year at Emmanuel.
Kelly: What is your favorite thing about EC?
Allie: One of my favorite things about Emmanuel is that it is a small college. This has given me the amazing opportunity to have close relationships with faculty and staff members. I have learned so much about the field of Sociology through conversations with my professors which have really opened my eyes to future career opportunities. I also love the fact that as I run around campus, I run into faculty and staff members that I know and who know me. This really adds to the community of Emmanuel.
Kelly: What was the most challenging part of your transition?
Allie: The hardest thing for me was the amount of free time I had. In high school I was a three-season athlete, involved in clubs and had a job. I was used to getting home late at night to start homework, go to bed and start it all over the next day. Once at Emmanuel, I realized I was only busy for a few hours during the day when I was in class. I found myself spending a lot of time studying, which is great, but I didn't work hard to make connections in campus to get involved. It wasn't until speaking to staff members at EC that I realized this is why I wasn't happy. These staff members helped me find areas on and off campus to spend my time. I joined the executive board of our programming board, joined the women's lacrosse team and began volunteering off campus. These areas of involvement really helped me overcome the struggles I had with the transition to college.
Kelly: What are you involved in?
- Executive Director for Emmanuel College Programming Board
- Co-coordinator for the Women's Leadership Academy
- Previously (not currently) involved with the Leadership Academy, Curriculum Committee and Alternative Spring Break; and as a Resident Assistant, S.A.G.E. Guide and Lacrosse team member.
Kelly: What advice would you give incoming students?
Allie: To incoming students, I like to say find something that you enjoy and find a way to use it to get involved at Emmanuel or Boston. It's also really great to branch out and find new interests. There are many opportunities to get involved with on-campus jobs, clubs and organizations, but there are many opportunities in Boston as well. I found my place here through the programming board, but there are also many other ways to build connections here.
Kelly: If you could do it over again, what would you do the same? What would you change?
Allie: If I could do it all over again, I would have worked harder to build connections earlier on in the first semester. It is never too late to put yourself out there, but it would have made me a lot happier if I had sooner. I also would have asked for help earlier. There are many faculty and staff that have helped me along the way, and reaching out to them during the first semester would have made things much smoother for me.
I wouldn't, however, change the decision I made to get involved. My volunteer experiences helped me make connections in the Boston area and I enjoyed giving back. Although I had never played lacrosse before joining the team, I learned a lot about the sport, met a lot of great girls and had a lot of fun along the way. And joining the programming board has been a wonderful experience for me.
Kelly: Any final thoughts?
Allie: The only other thing I want to add, is many students have a difficult time transitioning. If you are having a hard time as a new student, don't feel like you are alone. During my second semester I disclosed to a few of my friends that I was having a hard time. Funny thing was, they all felt the same way, but no one really wanted to admit it. So even if everyone seems like they are doing great, chances are many are feeling the same way. So don't be afraid to talk to your friends, OLs, RAs and staff members to help make your transition to college even easier.