Find your new “tribe”

Friday, August 25, 2023

Dedicated students, distinguished colleagues and dear friends,

Happy Friday!

As the end of August draws near, many families are preparing for a new school year. Some may have already started a new semester just as we have done at Missouri S&T. A new school year is an exciting time full of possibilities, but it can also be challenging and downright nerve-racking. Of course, a successful academic year starts with some good planning with clear milestones and timelines and, perhaps most importantly, good time management. Did I say time management? I have clear recollection of my own start as a freshman at LSU over 40 years ago with all the challenges of being away, far away, from home for the first time in a new country, adjusting to a new culture and learning a new language. Lost in unfamiliar terrain, worried and overwhelmed, I struggled to find my way through the maze of official processes and academic demands.

I often reflect on those days and think how foundational, wonderfully constructive and character building they were. I think back and remember all the supportive LSU faculty, staff and administrators who believed in us as young, energetic and promising newcomers. I remember how what I had heard about “southern hospitality” was vividly present in every corner of the support offices of LSU in the 1970s, as it is today, right here at our own S&T.

To our students, new or returning, I say please know that there are a wide array of resources available to you to help you with your transition or new situation that you might face. From health care services and well-being, to counseling and advising and academic support, to financial assistance, we stand ready to help you. Our Wellness Connection Newsletter contains a wealth of important information along with an app, the BetterYou app, that will help you establish a focus on wellness. There also are a variety of options for tutoring, including peer tutoring through the LEAD program and Knack tutoring. Our Writing Center is a popular and great resource for the writers among us.

These are just some of the resources available to you, and Student Support is a great place to start to find the assistance you may need.

Yet, the best support system that awaits you are the friends you are yet to make. Find your new “tribe” to help you celebrate the good times and support you during the down times. It is with your friends that you develop a sense of belonging and purpose, prevent isolation, and have the opportunity to offer your companionship when they need it. The best way to look for a friend? Go out and try to be a friend to others, reconnect with old friends and in the process, boost your sense of self-worth and confidence. Looking for a chance to make friends today? Come to MinerRama at the Student Recreation Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and check out a plethora of student organizations and design teams!

Finally, the truth is that, often, the most important step in a journey is the first, and congratulations to all our new students who have started the journey. Along the way we all learn that at times we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable, seek help when we need it and not let perfection get in the way of progress.

You have made your decision, a great promising decision with an opportunity to reset. So let’s embrace the exciting curve of growth, reflect on the life-changing potential outcome of your new journey, and may you find your “tribe” along the way.



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Mohammad Dehghani, PhD
Chancellor | 573-341-4116

206 Parker Hall, 300 West 13th Street, Rolla, MO 65409-0910