Advice to students: Invest yourself in your education
A.S. President Anna Ellermeier of
Seattle says she
got hooked on campus involvement as editor
of the A.S. Review.
BY Cristina Roock
WWU University Communications
Associated Students President Anna Ellermeier rewrote her speech for Summerstart at least five times. She wanted to make sure the new students in her audience understood how important it is to take ownership of their education.
You get what you put in, Ellermeier says. And, as Ellermeir has learned, getting the most out of your education means getting involved in activities outside the classroom and taking classroom learning beyond the course's minimum requirements.
"Education is powerful and, if you let it, education can be transformational," Ellermeier told the students. "If you take ownership of the opportunity that you have been given, your education can transform you in ways you wouldn't have ever thought possible."
Ellermeier is a double major: Spanish and a Fairhaven concentration in Institutional Sources of Power and Marginalization as well as an Honors Program student. Outside of class she worked as the editor-in-chief for the A.S. Review newspaper and helped start the Current Events Forum, an A.S. Club. Ellermeier also participated in the Vagina Memoirs, a popular annual event hosted by the A.S. Women's Center with students performing memoirs about their life experiences as female-identified individuals.
Ellermerier is a fifth-year senior, and after college she plans to pursue a law degree.
Here is some advice she has for Western families and students:
- Get involved and invest in something at Western. Students can claim their own stake, Ellermeier said. Editor-in-chief of the A.S. Review gave Ellermeier an investment in the larger campus community. "It was my first real involvement and I was hooked," she says.
- Use resources provided to you. One of the most amazing parts of college is that you never have to struggle alone, Ellermeier says. Western provides the Career Services Center, Tutoring Center, Counseling Center, Academic Advising Center, Prevention and Wellness Services and much more.
- It's okay to be scared. The first few weeks are hard. Step out of your boundary zones by meeting new people, joining clubs and taking new classes. Take risks and challenge yourself, she says.
"Even if we never get the chance to speak face-to-face," Ellermeier told the students, "know that for the next year I will be cheering you on from the sidelines as you find your footing, make your way, and invariably make your mark."