10 Places to Find Inspiration at Siena

Particularly during the winter months, it’s so easy to fall into an uninspiring slump. Fear not, though, because all it takes to get out of it is a shift in mindset. At Siena, there are plenty of resources to help you revitalize yourself and make some change!

1. Professors/Advisors

Professors and Academic Advisors are often people we either love or hate. However, one thing they all have in common is that they’re seasoned professionals who have often been through many runs of the mill before they ended up teaching at Siena. If you haven’t already done so, reach out to an instructor you’d like to get to know a little better—who knows, they may be able to hook you up with a job or internship you’ve always wanted!

2. Other Staff

Student workers? Facilities? Saga staff? Pub safety? Residence Directors? Admissions counselors? People who work in registrar? Basically anyone you talk to can tell you a bit about themselves. Whether you’re looking for a fresh perspective, a reason to feel happy, or just want to get to know someone you wouldn’t normally talk to, expand your horizons and reach out. Don’t forget—they were our age, once, too, and likely have a word of advice or two.

3. RAs

This is especially for freshmen: sometimes, we tend to forget that RAs aren’t any different from the rest of us—they’re just a hall member you can turn to if you need anything in particular. With this in mind, they can easily be reached out to if you’re looking for someone to talk to. More often than not, they have everyone’s best interests in mind, and they’re looking to help you, not get you in trouble.

4. Classmates

Your friends are hopefully huge inspirations to you, but your in-class and out-of-class friends can be totally different people sometimes, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are the friends you study with and the friends you party with. As far as your classmates go, let them serve as motivators to you—to get your work done, to make a great impression, to try something new, to tackle a project or join a new club. Talk to some people you normally wouldn’t—and you might end up surprising yourself!

5. Counseling Center

The counseling center is seriously one of the most underrated places on campus. Though they serve only 11% of students per year, their importance is not to be undermined. The counseling center is not just for people who are struggling with mental illness or are completely distraught. The staff is comprised of some of the greatest, kindest, most compassionate people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and their purpose extends well beyond simply helping people we might view as unstable or crazy. If you need to vent, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, no matter what you need, there will always be someone there, willing to listen and give you the support you need. So go ahead—schedule an appointment if it’s ever crossed your mind. Don’t let yourself be overshadowed by shame or doubt.

6. Guest Speakers

I can’t even begin to talk about how many guest speakers Siena hosts—even on a weekly basis. These people come from all walks of life, and end up in one common place—here—seeking to spread some sort of message and inspire our community. Thus, it is only fair—to yourself and to them—to go and give them a listen. Even if there’s a talk being given on something that isn’t your major, or isn’t an area of particular interest to you, if you have a chance—go! You never know who you might meet, what you might learn, and how your views might change. Who knows, if you’re contemplating a change of major, maybe this is what you need!

7. Friars

Ah, Friars. Some of the biggest-hearted people we’ll ever meet. Sadly, it takes a while to gather the courage to warm up to them—for me it did, at least. They may be daunting, especially to first-year students, who can’t always immediately see their purpose at Siena. But alas, they are the people who make Siena what it is. If you ever have an opportunity, go chat with a friar. Take a class with one of them. Get to know your Friar in residence—I promise, they’re some of the most interesting and amicable people out there. Give them a shot—you won’t regret it!

8. Career Education and Professional Development

Formerly the Career Center, the CEPD is another area of support that many students stay away from when they think they don’t need to utilize it yet. This is not the answer—start working with them as soon as possible! During your underclass years, go for a resume or cover letter critique, or even a mock interview. It’s best to get the basics out of the way first, so that you can focus on more pertinent goals down the line—like actually landing a job or internship!

9. Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy

Personally speaking, the FCSA is one of Siena’s most redeeming places. In its humble little section tucked into Hines, this place is easy to overlook, but one you definitely won’t want to. Adventure awaits in the offices of Judy Dougherty, Kara James, and Father Sean O’Brien, who coordinate everything from Siena’s mentoring program to service trips abroad. Stop in and learn more about what they do, because the journeys students can embark on through the FCSA are truly life-changing.

10. Study Abroad Office

Though their office takes a bit of exploring to get to, it’s well worth a visit. If you’re looking for long-term adventure, Siena’s study abroad program is the place to go. With semester-long or even travel courses, there’s always a way to enhance your Siena academic experience by studying abroad.