Hannah Hildreth
Hannah Hildreth

First things first, why CSU?
I came here for student council camp when I was a sophomore in high school. Everything just clicked for me here. I really like the atmosphere, all the resources we have and it was just ‘it’ for me. It’s the only college I applied to and going here has only made me love it even more. I was in the middle of my CU Boulder application when I got accepted at CSU and then I was like “I’m not submitting it.”

What made you decide to major in Communication Studies?
I really like the aspect of the “I can learn how to form relationships better.” Learning how to effectively communicate with different people is really important to me. I was an orientation leader this summer which was a cool experience just because of my communication training. All the classes I’ve taken helped to understand where my students come from and that they all have different types of views. I really like the rhetoric and organizational part of communication, not so much the media classes. I’m sad I’m graduating and so I won’t get to take any more classes, I’m in my last few.

Tell us more about the orientation leader position.
I loved everything about it. I applied to graduate school for Student Affairs and Higher Education because orientation resonated so much with me. I have always loved working with students. My biggest thing is that I want people to feel like they belong. As an Orientation Leader I felt like I could do that. People know that they have their first friend and I can communicate what I love so much about CSU. You get to meet such a diverse group of students every single week. The training I got made me value different things about CSU like Cultural and Diversity centers and the different stories you hear. It just really solidified that I want to work in student affairs one day. It was such a life changing experience, I would do it a hundred more times if I could.

If you could only take three things with you to a deserted island, what would you take?
I would take a camera because I love taking pictures, my iPad so I could have a surplus of books, and my contacts so I could see, or a pair of glasses. If I don’t have my contacts, I couldn’t take in the view of the island, or read my books, or take good pictures. So they all three go hand in hand.

What were some of your favorite classes?
Advanced public speaking and Rhetoric in Social Movements are probably my top communications classes. I loved Advanced Public Speaking and I love the professor, Kristin Slattery. I just really liked how different it was from Public Speaking. I really like Relational and Organizational Communication too. It made me think ‘oh yeah you should stay in this major.. definitely.’ I’m double minoring in history and sociology. I like my race classes and in history, well I just love American history.

What other CSU campus activities did you get involved in besides Ram Welcome and Orientation?
My freshman year I did hall council, and was in one of the First Year Mentoring groups. I’m also in an honor society for grades. Right now I’m a peer facilitator for OTP. Basically, I co-facilitate a class of undeclared first year students for the first eight weeks of a semester and I help them get involved. I really like that position. I’ll be doing that next semester too.

What do you like about being a Peer Facilitator?
I like that I can form deeper relationships, whereas in orientation it was like boom boom boom. With that class I get to meet one-on-one with the students twice and so I really get to know what they’re interested in. It’s cool because I’m a senior so I feel like I can give meaningful advice, whereas if I did that my sophomore year, I don’t think I would be able to be as helpful. I get to have my own mentor, facilitating with another person on campus. It’s a cool, professional aspect getting to be in front of a classroom. Co-teaching and leading certain things is cool. Definitely the fact that I get to create meaningful relationships with first year students and actually getting to know things about them and how to make their CSU experience better.

What’s your best go-to advice for underclassmen?
This is something someone told me before going to college. They said, “Life is an opportunity train, you can either get on it or watch it go by because no one’s going to pull you on.” There’s so many opportunities in college, sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and take a step out of your comfort zone.  I started loving CSU even more when I took that extra step out of my comfort zone to get involved and meet new people and get to know the people within my major and my minor. Definitely life is an opportunity train. You either get on it or watch it go by.

What are your plans for after graduation?
I really want to continue in student affairs and I really like working with students in general. With the grad schools I’ve applied to, you get an assistantship. I’ll get to work in different school’s student affairs programs. Since I’ve done orientation here, I want to work for another school. I’ve applied to two instate and two out of state grad schools, so we’ll see where I end up.