Meet Iris Christensen, a proactive student-leader at Boston University. From time management to career advice, Iris has plenty of tips and tricks to share on how you can also make a mark on your campus community. Iris and I met as we pledged for Delta Phi Epsilon together, and we’ve gotten to know each other through a class in common this semester. Read on to learn more about Iris and her college journey so far!
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and what are you studying?
A: I’m a sophomore, and I will be double majoring in International Relations and Spanish after I finish up at BU’s College of General Studies (CGS) this spring. I’m originally from Des Moines, Iowa, where most of my family lives.
Q: What are some of your commitments outside of academics?
A: I am quite involved on campus. I’m an Admissions Ambassador, although I started the position during the pandemic and haven’t been able to give traditional tours. I will also be a Spanish Cluster Leader next year, where I’ll help people learn and practice Spanish through BU’s Global House. I’m the Head Writer for Migration Tales, where I organize and coordinate the Writing Team, and assist with communications and editing. I’m a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, and recently became its Secretary for the 2021-22 academic year. Lastly, I’m on CGS’s Dean's Advisory Board and work as a classroom moderator for BU. This summer, I’m excited to be doing research through CGS!
Q: What inspired you to be so involved on campus?
A: My freshman gap semester definitely motivated me to get involved. Since the College of General Studies does not begin until the spring semester of your first year, I went a little crazy without much to do in the fall. I am someone who needs to be busy and academically stimulated, so I needed things to keep me occupied. I even took up knitting! When I finally got to BU, I delved into the activities that interested me and quickly got involved.
Q: How do you think your proactive presence on campus will help your post-graduate career?
A: I believe being active on campus is a great way to try out new things without feeling like your commitments have to be permanent. I use college as an opportunity to try out things I’m passionate about both career-wise, and out of academic or personal interest. This way, when I am faced with bigger challenges down the road, I am able to make a more informed decision.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from one or more of your extracurricular activities?
A: One of the biggest lessons I have learned was probably from being Head Writer for Migration Tales. I learned how to manage a team, listen to others, and lead not by fear, but by listening and engaging with others. The beauty of basic human interactions has been lost over this pandemic, but this organization has helped me restore that a little bit.
Q: What time management advice would you give to other college students?
A: I think one of the biggest misconceptions about time management is that people who are good at it were naturally born with the skill. I think quite the opposite. I believe people who are the best at managing their time now were once the worst at it—and were forced to create a system that works for them. So, I would tell other students to not feel discouraged and know that time management is always something that you can strengthen. Everyone has been there! Try out a bunch of different systems, like Google Calendar, lists, etc. Do what works well for your brain. Listen to your friends and adapt new methods if need be. Create an action plan, and commit to it throughout your day!
Q: In what ways do you still make time for yourself within your busy schedule?
A: Since I am genuinely passionate about my commitments, my extra-curriculars don’t feel like a chore. In fact, I am very excited to take a break from school and do work for my organizations. But, I am by no means a workaholic. I think of self-care as another priority to include in my schedule. For example, I reserve evenings and Sunday mornings to me-time. I would advise others to also dedicate certain parts of your week to yourself!