The Sophomore Year Experience Mentors

Darby Barton

Darby Barton

Mentor Specialization: Community Service/Study Abroad
Email:
dbarton@students.pitzer.edu
Class year: 2014
Major(s): Organizational Studies and Music

What is your favorite thing about Pitzer?
I love getting to interact with students and professors during class. Sometimes I learn much more from conversations about my studies with my professors and peers outside of class than I do reading a text book on my own. I also enjoy sitting outside the Grove House with a cool drink and a fresh cookie on a warm, breezy day.

Why did you became a SYE mentor?
I have been involved in ResLife for three semesters and I have really loved all of the positive interactions I get to have helping or listening to students. Sophomore year presents a set of new adjustments and decisions that I wish I had had a mentor to go to about. I am happy to be able to be that mentor for students dealing with many of the same dilemmas that my peers and I had.

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year? Any you wished you had added?
Sophomore year I sang in an a cappella group, led an OA trip, was an RA, co-lead Pitzer Christian Fellowship activities, joined a search committee for the chaplaincy, and planned a bomb Spring Break trip through POA to Big Sur! I wish I had done some more activities in the local communities and went on a few more short POA trips.

What were some of the hardest decisions you had to make during sophomore year, and how did you go about that decision-making process?
Figuring out my majors and making study abroad plans were definitely some of the most difficult decisions I had to make sophomore year. Talking to my academic advisor, professors, older students, and working adults that I know helped me gather my thoughts about majors/minors. Talking with students who had gone abroad as well as students who chose not to go abroad helped me to answer the “if, when, and where” questions I had about studying abroad. Attending ResLife programs related to study abroad helped with this too, and running ideas by my academic advisor helped me to see how the abroad experience would work with my major and campus leadership positions. Checking in with the Study Abroad office also helped me to sort out all of my options and to get connected with students who went on specific programs.

What Pitzer or 5C Resources did you use your sophomore year?
I used Career Services, the Writing Center, and my academic advisor a TON during my sophomore year (and I still do!). They have helped me so much with things like planning and editing papers, re-creating my resume, finding summer opportunities, choosing classes and a major, and have just helped me to de-stress and sort out life in general! For me, staying connected with my spirituality also helped me remain grounded during stressful times. The chaplains are really caring and generally awesome people, who are super open to talking about and engaging with all types of faiths and spiritualities, no matter where you at are with those topics. There are also a number of campus and student groups available to check out if you are interested in learning more about or want to find a community for all sorts of faiths and spiritual practices.

What advice would you give to sophomores?
General advice:
When you get really stressed about all of the new decisions to make and when you classes seem harder, try not to freak out. It happens to everyone, and many of your peers will be going through similar situations and emotions. You are not alone. Talking about your experiences and worries is one way to sort things out and to help you keep calm and focused. Pitzer and the 5Cs want to help you succeed and stay healthy and they provide so many resources, so be sure to use them! If you are not sure where to start, talk to some of the resources who live near you like the SYE mentors or RAs. They can help point you in the right direction. Also, do as much as you can, try new things, and spend quality time with your friends! Sophomore year flies by and you may not see some of your mates for a long time during junior year!

Study Abroad & Community advice:
Studying abroad is a unique and exciting learning experience, but it isn’t right for everyone. Don’t feel pressured into going or to choose a particularly “exotic” place to study abroad. Every place offers a different set of learning opportunities, challenges, and experiences. Talk to as many people as you can about going abroad. If you are interested in going, make sure you keep up with the strict deadlines!  Attend an info session early on, and note that applications for Fall and Spring semesters are due on the same day!!!

There are loads of ways to get off campus and engage with the local communities. Getting involved in projects off-campus can really put things into a new perspective. There are also ways to get involved with new projects on campus if you want to be more involved at home!

Cat Eskilson

Evan Slovak

Mentor Specialization: Wellness
Email: ceskilson@students.pitzer.edu
Class year 2014
Major(s): Sociology

What is your favorite thing about Pitzer?
The uniqueness of the school, and the consortium we are a part of.  Pitzer has the feeling and style of a small, cozy school, but as the resources of a medium-sized university; because of the differences between all the Claremont schools, you are exposed to many people from so many different backgrounds.  I love how special and amazing the Claremont Colleges are, and I don’t think I would have had the same positive experiences I have if I had gone anywhere else.

Why did you became a SYE mentor?
Mentoring is a natural thing for me to do.  I really enjoy spending time with, and especially helping, the amazing people that attend Pitzer.  As this school has given me such much in my time here, I do what I can do give back to the school.

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year? Any you wished you had added?
Are there any you wish you’d gotten involved with? Second year I was a part of Pitzer’s Rainbow People Collaborative, I was an RA in the first year dorms, and I started working at the Queer Resource Center my second semester.   Even though I did some things, I wish I had spread myself out on the 5Cs more than I did- it wasn’t until my Junior year that I really spent my time on the other campuses and got to know the other schools.  I wish I had used all my resources and limited myself primarily to Pitzer.  The other schools have so much to offer; not many students have the opportunity to have such a wide range of opportunities that we do at the 5Cs.

What were some of the hardest decisions you had to make during sophomore year, and how did you go about that decision-making process?
Considering what subjects to major and minor in, considering whether to study abroad or not, and deciding what to become involved with to occupy my time.  I thrive on making decisions based on advice I receive from others, so I started my decision-making process by reaching out and asking for the opinions of everyone I respected on the 5Cs, especially those people who had similar experiences as me.

What Pitzer or 5C Resources did you use your sophomore year?
What advice would you give to sophomores? Try everything.  Sophomore year is a perfect time for exploration & creating yourself.  Now that you have your bearings from your first year, now you have the time & energy to become involved in new things, things you’ve always wanted to try.  Don’t limit yourself!  Even if you may not think you’re interested in a particular subject or topic, give everything “the old college try.” ;)   

Minji Lee   

Minji Lee

Mentor Specialization: Social/Study Abroad
Email:
minlee@students.pitzer.edu
Class Year: 2014
Major: English Literature/Psychology
Minor: Spanish

What is your favorite thing about Pitzer?
The relaxing atmosphere, friendly faces, and quirky murals that fill up every creative corner of campus!

Why did you became a SYE mentor?
The second year of college can be a little bit intimidating because of the big decisions that students have to make. With this said, I became a SYE mentor so that I could serve as a resource for sophomores at Pitzer to have purposeful, memorable, and FABULOUS year!

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year? 
I was involved in ResLife, Media Studies Production Center, Uncommon Good, The Orange Peel, Pitzer Bible Study, and the Pomona-Pitzer InterVarsity Christian Fellowship!

What were some of the hardest decisions you had to make during sophomore year, and how did you go about that decision-making process?
One of the most difficult decisions I had to make during my sophomore year was where I wanted to study abroad—London and Quito were my top two choices, but they are completely different cities! I started my research and brainstorming process early on in my sophomore year by considering the differences of each study abroad experience, such as whether or not I wanted to live with a host family or speak a different language. In the end, I decided that I wanted to become fluent in Spanish and that this skill would not only benefit me in the long run with potential career choices, but it would also provide me with a cultural experience that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere outside of college!

What Pitzer or 5C Resources did you use your sophomore year?
I utilized Pitzer’s Career Services for resume revisions and received a full summer internship fund to pursue fun internships in NYC! I also utilized the Pitzer’s Writing Center for peer reviews as well as the Health and Education Outreach Center for free massages!

What advice would you give to sophomores?
Take advantage of the resources of all types across all 5C’s—the Writing Center, the Office of Study Abroad, the Office of Student Affairs, Career Services the Motley, the Bookstore (for awesome $1 books), Monsour Counseling, etc. in order to keep yourself balanced and motivated in all respects! Even when things start to get crazy in planning your future, live fully in the present moment in your semester with a huge smile on your face!

Robert (James) Little

Robert (James) Little

Mentor Specialization: Career Services (Fall only)
Email:
rlittle@students.pitzer.edu
Class year: 2015
Major(s): Double Major in Environmental Analysis: Environmental Policy; Sociology

What is your favorite thing about Pitzer?
It's impossible to go anywhere on Pitzer's campus without running into and greeting someone you know! There's an overabundance of love here!

Why did you became a SYE mentor?
First, I wanted to join the SYE team because I have extensive training and experience working with other students; it's only natural to want to do something productive with it and help out other students!  Also, Sophomore year is a time of intense decisions - classes, majors, internships, friends — and being able to help provide some guidance and help is incredibly important.

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year? Any you wished you had added?
I was a Resident Assistant in the first year complex, regular tour guide and student worker at the Office of Admission, Pitzer representative Pitzer-Pomona Intramural Sports Coordinator, manager of the Pomona Photography Darkroom, Assistant Manager for Event Staff, Green Bike Program (GBP) Volunteer — and of course a full time student!  I had my hands full, although I'd love to have done more Pitzer Outdoor Adventure (POA) trips around LA!

What were some of the hardest decisions you made during your sophomore year, and how did you go about making those decisions?
Certainly, one of the hardest decisions most sophomores face is what to study!  I struggled to decide exactly what it was I was going to study, and how I was going to declare my major. I was lucky to rely on my professors and staff to help provide guidance.  In addition, one of the hardest decisions that I had to make was what to do with my summer!  This is where Career Services came in handy, providing me with loads of internship opportunities, guidance, and workshops to perfect my Resume, cover letters, and interview tactics!

What Pitzer or 5-C Resources did you use your sophomore year?
Most often, I used the Career Services Office, Registrar's office, Office of Student Affairs, and my current professors for advice and guidance. 

What advice would you give to sophomores?
As a sophomore, I blindly made my way through some of the big decisions – majors, internships, research grants – and I would advise students to reach out for help from the various student leaders who are going through or have gone through the same processes.  SYE mentors, RA's, Friends; you don't have to venture far or deal with bureaucracy to get some quick honest advice! 

Alexander Rosario

Mentor Specialization: Career Services (Spring)
Email:
arosario@students.pitzer.edu
Class year: 2015
Major(s): Media Arts & Communications

What is your favorite thing about Pitzer?
The small classroom sizes and the amount of resources readily available to its students.

Why did you became a SYE mentor?
I became a SYE mentor because I already served as a Career Services Career Ambassador and truly understand the resume and internship process, as well as the importance of internships as a college sophomore. Therefore, I want to help and guide students to take advantage of Career Services as a resource and build the best resume for a better future.

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year?  Any you wished you'd have added?
I served as a Career Ambassador at Career Services, Student Assistant at Admissions, First Year mentor for ResLife, SYE Career Services Mentor, and the Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Orange Peel. (Do these count).

What were some of the hardest decisions you made during your sophomore year, and how did you go about making those decisions?
The hardest decision I had to make as a sophomore was deciding where to go abroad during my junior year. I had to not only choose a location that offered classes that would benefit my academic goals, but also provide me an amazing intercultural experience. Once I overcame that challenge, I was faced with one that forced me to go abroad in the Fall instead of Spring semester, which I had planned to go during in order to see my friends during my experience abroad. Unfortunately, I was unable to switch back to the Spring and will unable to see my friends for a year. However, I see this as a growing experience. I will be pushed to make new friends not only during my time abroad, but also when I return back on campus in the Spring.

What advice would you give to sophomores?
It is never to soon to start working on or creating a resume. A resume, scratch that, a great resume is essential to secure an internship in an industry of your choice. The more internships you have, the more qualified you are in terms of work experience, the more likely you will continue to land more and more prestigious internships. Amazing work experience will result in a great job post graduation. It is a process, but it is one that truly pays off. Start now!

Charles Yates

Charles Yates

Mentor Specialization: General Academics/Create Your Own Major (Fall)
Email:
cyates@students.pitzer.edu
Class year: 2015
Major(s): sychology and Science, Technology, & Society
Minor: Music

Your favorite thing about Pitzer:
My favorite thing about Pitzer is the fact that everyone is constantly passionate about being a positive difference somehow in their lives!  It is awesome to know that everyone is so dedicated to helping the world in a multitude of ways, from their academic courses to non-profits to volunteer work.

Why you became a SYE mentor?
I became an SYE mentor to help students during a subtlety difficult time in their college careers.  There are a lot of resources for first years, but sometimes, sophomores may feel like they don’t have the same amount of help.  During a time of trying to balance extracurricular activities and academics on top of thinking about majors and studying abroad, people should be able to have someone to talk to and help them through it all!

What activities were you involved with during your sophomore year?  Are there any you wish you’d gotten involve with?
During my sophomore year, I got more involved on Pitzer’s campus by joining Student Senate, the Campus Life Committee, the Student Access Advisory Board and becoming a Resident Assistant.  Even though I did a lot of 5C activities my first year like acappella and CLSA, I wanted to make sure that I grew my passion for PItzer.  If there was something that I wish that I got involved with, it would be some sort of community service work through the CEC.

What were some of the hardest decisions you had to make during sophomore year, and how did you go about that decision-making process?
During my sophomore year, the hardest decision that I had to make was whether or not I wanted to (or even could) study abroad.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t graduate in time or that I wasn’t fully ready to be immersed in a new culture.  The scariest thing for me was to push myself to do something that I did not have fully planned out, but ultimately, I am really happy that I pushed myself and I look forward to studying abroad in Turkey.

What Pitzer or 5C Resources did you use your sophomore year?
The biggest Pitzer resource I used was without a doubt the Writing Center.  I took a few courses my sophomore year that pushed my writing, including my first college-level history course.  The Writing Center walked me through the process of writing in different styles and teaching me how to effectively argue my theses.  They also helped with my essay for an internship that I got over the summer (and I greatly credit their guidance for receiving it).  Just remember that they aren’t there to proofread your paper, but to make you a better writer.

What advice would you give to sophomores?
Go to professor office hours!!!  Whether you are not doing so well in a class or you have just a quick question, that time you spend with your professor can do a variety of things.  They can help with academic advising, they can give you helpful resources, and they can also be a good listener especially when times are tough.  As difficult as that last exam was or how harsh of a grader he or she is, the professors at Pitzer are not only willing to help their students or give them invaluable wisdom, but they are also rooting for their students to succeed.