Scholars Speak: Guest Blog by Forman Scholar Michaela Du Bois

Michaela Du Bois shares her thoughts to our Scholars Speak student blog series. Michaela is a junior at Bucknell University, where she majors in international studies. 

Read on to hear about Michaela’s college experiences, the importance of time management and her ideas for improving the greater Salem community. 

What does pursuing a college degree mean to you?  

Pursuing a higher education to me means growing intellectually and personally. My education thus far is something that has shaped how I view the world and the people around me. My education is also entirely mine and something I can keep forever. 

What’s something you didn’t know during your first year in college that you wish you knew?  

My college (and most colleges) has textbooks from most, if not all classes, on reserve in the library for student use. Some professors want students to bring their books to class, but not all. In general, use the resources of your library! It has so much to offer.

What is your most memorable academic moment from your time in college? 

 

If I’ve learned anything, it’s this: when it comes to your education, you get out what you put in. Make the most of it. 

Tell us a time when you overcame a challenge. 

In college, one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome is time management. As amazing as college is, it can be stressful at times. I’ve found, personally, that a lot of my stress comes from thinking I don’t have enough time to do everything I need or want to do. It can be very daunting to find time to fit everything into your schedule, but it’s possible. You just have to be comfortable saying ‘no’ to things – even with perfect time management skills, you may not be able to do everything – and finding a strategy that works for you. 

For people who may not know about the Foundation, what role has the Foundation played in your educational journey?  

The Foundation has been such a valuable support system. Rick has always been there to answer questions about anything and everything. He genuinely cares and checks in frequently to make sure each Scholar has everything he or she needs to succeed. Joanne from the financial literacy program has always been open and available to answer questions about college expenses and finances in general. The board members and other staff are incredibly welcoming and sometimes even remember specific details about applicants. The Foundation goes the extra mile to make sure that it is doing everything it can to support scholars educationally, financially and personally. 

As someone who grew up in either Salem or the Salem area, how has your community shaped your upbringing, and what do you think is needed to ensure the best future for Salem? 

Growing up in Salem County and attending Salem High School has absolutely shaped my upbringing. SHS exposed me to an education that challenged me and prepared me for college. My peers pushed me to grow and encouraged me to do so. In order to ensure the best future for Salem, the community needs more support. Salem is full of brilliant minds, but I think sometimes an extra push is what it needed for Salem to reach its fullest potential. 

If you had to give one piece of advice to a student who is applying for college, what would it be and why?  

Apply, apply, apply! I was scared to apply to some schools because of their low acceptance rates or the fear of rejection – but the worst a college can say is ‘no’!