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First-Year Student Navigates CSM with Help from Student Success Advisor
Haley Miller
Bellevue, NE

Navigating the college experience can be stressful. That’s something first-year student Haley Miller learned in her first semester at College of Saint Mary.

However, the nursing major from Bellevue has learned to rely on Hailey Larsen, one of CSM’s Student Success Advisors, who is a resource, offers support and serves as an accountability partner for her.

“It’s like having an extra voice to tell me everything is going to be OK,” Haley said.

After enrolling at CSM, Haley was still debating which major she should declare -- nursing or education. Larsen told her that changing her major was OK if she wanted to.

“We weighed out the options. We made pros and cons lists for nursing and education,” Haley said. “That opened my eyes to the struggles nurses go through and what educators go through.”

The Office of Student Success also helps students create a success plan, goal setting, and finances. They also check in frequently throughout the academic year, which Haley appreciates.

“My stress levels are pretty high most of the time, and I have anxiety, too,” she said. “I just always check in with her, and we tell each other how we’re doing.”

While she won’t begin her nursing classes until her sophomore year, Haley has found classes that will help her in the future, including a strategies class taught by Tina Tingwald from Student Support Services.

“She teaches you how to study effectively, which is really helpful not only with nursing but all of my classes,” Haley said.

Haley chose CSM after visiting several colleges. None of the other colleges felt like home to her.

“But then I stepped on campus here, and it just felt right,” she said. “Everyone is so friendly. You get to know everyone. They know your name. You’re not just a student ID number, which is special to me. Even the upperclassmen try to get to know you and say hi to you. It’s like a big family here.”

She’s happy to tell anyone about the CSM experience.

“Every time somebody asks me about CSM, I talk it up,” she said. “You get to know everyone. It’s home here. They will make you feel like you belong here.”