The lessons of student activities
Student of the Week: Maria Contreras
“College can be stressful and I feel like Student Activities and Wellness is a good way for students to meet people and relax. It also helps them network with people from different majors and interests. They can help each other once they meet.”
Maria Del Rosario Contreras found a way to move beyond her shyness and into a campus student volunteer role at South Texas College with the help of the Mid-Valley campus Department of Student Activities and Wellness.
Contreras, 19, from Donna, is pursuing an associate degree in Business Administration, and this summer she participated in the Student Activities and Wellness (SAW) Student Leadership Program.
SAW offers the leadership program to help students develop a personal standard of values through leadership activities designed to support a student’s education.
The enthusiasm of Student Activities Director Tyrone Marshall and Student Activities Specialist Rick Martinez encouraged Contreras to join the group and begin promoting student life at the college.
Martinez said Contreras has been a committed volunteer - punctual and attentive to all she does.
Contreras believes student activities and events are a vital part of complementing an academic education at STC.
“College can be stressful and I feel like this (SAW) is a good way for students to meet people and relax,” Contreras said. “It also helps them network with people from different majors and interests. They can help each other once they meet.”
One of Contreras’ roles as a volunteer is to help bring awareness and spark engagement in campus activities. She recently assisted with Welcome Week activities held at the Mid-Valley campus.
“We had crafts, like canvas painting on pencil pouches, and we also had a kickball game,” Contreras said. “We like doing sports because it’s a way to get people active and lets them enjoy the afternoon and refreshments. It brings smiles to the table.”
Contreras uses her own college experience to show how recreational campus activities can enhance a student’s time at STC and their own personal growth.
“I do stress a lot, so this helps me unwind,” Contreras said about volunteering at SAW events. “Just laughing with my friends can help me relax.”
Contreras has also found her voice by interacting with the student body.
“I’m very shy,” Contreras said. “So, this has really helped me. We see students walking by and invite them in. I’m not afraid to talk to them.”
This is Contreras’ second year at STC, and she said although she “doesn’t have a plan laid out” for her future she knows she can find her way through campus support.
“It’s been great at STC, and I've been getting all the help that I can get here,” Contreras said. “The best people work here, and I’ve met a lot of nice people. This is the start I needed to help me find my future.”
Contreras encourages STC students who feel similarly to explore their academic options. Much like how they can explore extracurricular activities.
“It’s ok to not know right away what major you want to study,” Contreras said. “Find what you love and what you're interested in. Take a breath, take a step back and watch your future unfold.”
To learn more about Student Activities and Wellness visit, life.southtexascollege.edu.