Eric West, Jr.
Year: Class of 2017
Major: Human Development and Family Studies
Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Current Occupation: Senior Admissions Counselor, Indiana University Bloomington
Past IU student involvement: DEMA Student Ambassador, IU NAACP Member, IU Greek Life (NPHC – Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.)
Why did you choose IU Bloomington?
"I chose to attend IU because when I first visited in my sophomore year of high school I fell in love with the school and beauty of the campus. Also, upon further research, I discovered that IU has a diverse range of programs that I was interested in, just in case I wanted to change my major which impacted my admission decision on a positive note. Finally, I always wanted to attend a school that gave me some space from home and a large institution—IU gave me both."
What advice would you give to a senior that you wish you would have known?
"I wish I had taken more dual credit courses in high school that would have given me more of an advantage for preparation towards college. Also, 8 a.m. courses are not the same as in high school. Be cautious of them if you are truly not a morning person unless it’s the only option. Most importantly do not be scared to ask your professors for help, they will be there to support you so attend their office hours, even if it is just to stop by and say hello to start building a genuine relationship with them."
What was an obstacle that you overcame as an undergraduate student?
"I overcame the fact that in college time goes by so fast, so in order to succeed you must have good time management skills. I overcame the challenge of living with a complete stranger. We had different views on many things such as cleanliness and having to share our living space, but we learned to cope with our problems with communication and compromising. Lastly, I overcame my fear of failing at something. I learned sometimes when you fall, when you get back up you become so much stronger. In other words, when I failed my first college course I was distraught but that challenge made me work so much harder throughout the rest of my college career."
How did the 21st Century Scholar services at IU Bloomington benefitted you?
"The 21st Century Scholars Office benefited me in many ways, such as having an academic advisor from that office. Your advisor is not just there to make sure you are registered and passing your courses, they genuinely care about you and want to make sure you are ok mentally and enjoying your college career. Also the program helped me discover my leadership qualities and gave me a chance to use them throughout many of the program's events."
How did you remain successful as a 21st Century Scholar?
"As a 21st Century Scholar we are provided a lot of support which I truly loved. One of many key support services I used was tutoring. Many students feel if you are attending tutoring you must need help with that topic, but it is also a chance for you to get ahead, so definitely take advantage of that opportunity like I did. Also, my advisor became my mentor so build that relationship with your advisor because again they truly care about you and are there to support you."
What was the best thing about being a 21st Century Scholar?
"Being a 21st Century Scholar gave me an advantage during my college career that I did not truly notice until I graduated. This program helped me build the foundations of my success at Indiana University from helping me unlock my leadership capabilities, to learning to network and most importantly helping me meet some of my best friends still to this day from this program. One college memory I will never forget is how this program helped give me the opportunity to partake in a lot of new experiences, such as studying abroad which is a college moment I will treasure for the rest of my life. "
What were your favorite classes at IU and why?
"I actually have a few favorite courses that I took at IU, some of them are: Brazilian Jujitsu, Marriage and Family Interaction, and Divorce and Effects on Children. These classes truly challenged me which is why I enjoyed them so much. I was encouraged to continuously take courses that challenge you academically and mentally and these courses definitely took me there.”
What activities (including employment) were you involved in?
"During my college career, looking back I was involved in a handful of things: IU DEMA Student Ambassador (2013 – 2017), Teter Summer Housing Assistant (2015), RPS Student Campus Housing Assistant in Teter (2015 – 2017), IU NAACP (2015 – 2017), Assistant Instructor for School of Public Health Courses (2015 – 2017), Neal Marshall Black Culture Center Student Worker (2016 – 2017), National Pan-Hellenic Council [NPHC] – Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. (2016 – Present). While in college I did not think I did that much but when I look back I truly did a lot."