By Dani Neu ’21
College. It’s a time in life when change is abundant. We leave the nest and start to figure out who we are as people, what we want in life and what comes next for us. Along the way we have experiences that help shape our understanding of the world and ourselves while making connections and friendships. People may argue what I just described — connections and friendships — are totally different. However, those two relationships are more closely intertwined than most people may realize. During your time in college, you’ll experience both.
When I say connections, what comes to mind? Most likely you think of people you have met through classes, extracurriculars or jobs who have made an impact on you. This may sound suspiciously like friendship … and you’re right! Friendships and connections have many similarities. Both involve being affected by people we interact with — positively and negatively — and using the lessons learned from those encounters to make ourselves into better people and to deepen our view of the world. These connections come in many shapes and sizes and originate from almost everywhere. From your first-year orientation group, college jobs, professors and friends from all over the Central community, connections come in many forms.
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with going to college. Making connections is a vital part of the Central experience and it will serve you well beyond your time on campus. The connections you make here will open opportunities like on-campus jobs, undergraduate research, letters of recommendation for internship and job opportunities and so much more. Beyond the professional connections, the personal connections — also known as friendships — you make at Central will last a lifetime! Whether they’re friends you made in the classroom, people you eat with at lunch or someone you studied abroad with, these small connections grow into lifelong friendships. They also cement your place in the Central family, which spans the entire globe!
Regardless of your major, hometown or interests, connections are an important part of being at Central. Make the most of every connection you make — even the smallest connections can have major impacts on your life!
About the Author
Hi everyone! My name is Dani Neu ’21 and I’m from West Des Moines, Iowa. I’m double majoring in communication studies and social science with a minor in global sustainability. On campus, I have two work-study jobs as a student assistant for a professor and in the class dean’s office.
When I’m not studying or working, you can find me helping out on campus with Dance Marathon, Best Buddies, Campus Ministries, SOS (Student Orientation Staff) and spending time with my friends!