By Gary Shaw, Program Director, The Berkshire Center
In my tenure at the College Internship Program, it will be 11 years this October, I have always found the fall to be the most exciting time of the year. Fall is filled with promise, anticipation and all the possibilities of a new beginning.
For first-year students, it is a new start. Although it can be anxiety provoking to begin something new and different, beginning your adult life can be very exciting. Freedoms and responsibilities which you have long anticipated are beginning to unfold before you. This beginning is what many of you have been waiting for all your life.
For returning students, it is an opportunity to build on past successes, or, in some cases, to turn things around. Even if you have not had the success you had hoped for up to this point, you can begin anew to achieve your goals. CIP is a place where every day you have a new opportunity. Lack of success in the past does not mean that you cannot succeed in the future. CIP staff is committed to giving students a new opportunity to be successful every day.
As the Father of two, one who graduated from college and one who is currently in college, I have the same hopes and dreams for CIP students that I have for my own children:
- The expectation that you will work to the best of your ability, and understand the joys of everyday triumphs. I want you to know the satisfaction of exceeding expectations through hard work. I want you to expand your skills, and thrive in areas you did not consider areas of strength.
- Make lifelong friends. Learn to be a good and trusted friend, and learn to make good choices in the friends you select.
- Learn to use the resources available to you. No one becomes a success without the help of others. Learn to use these resources.
- Enjoy life. The time after High School is one in which we learn how to have fun while making good choices. Having joy is necessary for a well rounded life. Learn the difference between fun, which is short term, and happiness, which is long term. Going to a party can be fun, but making a commitment and building a life with someone can bring you long term happiness.
- Give something back. You are blessed with many things others in this world do not have. There are people who struggle from day to day trying to find food and shelter. There are people who are faced with painful medical issues and are confined to bed. There are people who cannot walk, or speak, or understand others. There are people who are isolated and do not have loving families or other circles of support. Please acknowledge the gifts you have, and try to give something back to the larger community. Do it with love and enthusiasm. This should not be a burden, it is a joy.
Have a great year!