Margie began at CIP Amherst in the Fall of 2012. She arrived having just spent almost a year at home doing very little after having left the University of Arizona, midway through the year, due to her inability to cope with the many stressors of college. Insistent that she wanted to attend a large university, she enrolled at the University of Buffalo as a full time student living in the dorms.
Within the first couple weeks she was falling back into the same pattern of behavior that had undermined her success at the University of Arizona. The staff learned quickly that she was not attending classes, not getting work completed and handed in and feeling increasingly depressed and anxious.
Fortunately, the staff were able to help Margie salvage the semester by having her quickly transfer to Daemen College and move into CIP housing where she would be closer to the CIP offices and more likely to access services. Since Margie was unclear at that time what she wanted to major in, she enrolled in two classes at Daemen – Pre Calculus and Chemistry to see if the sciences, which were of interest to her, would be a good choice for a major.
When Margie first arrived at CIP, she also had difficulty motivating herself. She would procrastinate about everything, even really important things, until it couldn’t wait any longer. Then she would become extremely anxious and look for someone to “help” her. Her time at CIP has seen much improvement in this area. She received an A in her Pre Calculus course and a B in Chemistry. In addition, she found a job on her own at Regal Cinema and has maintained successful employment. In fact, in the short time she has worked at Regal, she has earned a raise and been entrusted with additional responsibilities.
Margie has proven to be a great asset to the CIP program and her fellow students. Margie’s outgoing personality, love of people and adventurous spirit have all added “spice” to CIP Amherst. She made suggestions for weekend activities and then encouraged other students to participate. Margie has also made friends in the community and participated in activities with them.
Margie is also a very creative person. In her free time she likes to engage in artistic pursuits; a favorite activity being glass blowing. This year she won second place overall in the CIP National Art contest for an elegant glass bowl she had blown herself.
Margie has gone from having difficulty setting goals for herself to being much more goal oriented. Early on at CIP, she engaged in a series of staff guided activities that helped her set realistic and authentic goals for herself. Then she identified what she would need to do to accomplish those goals.
Among the goals she set was to return to the University of Arizona and finish her degree there. It is evident, by the fact that she is headed back to U of A in late August to continue her education, that she has made important strides forward in her ability to be goal oriented. Though she is still unclear as to what she wants to major in, Margie is a much better decision maker now than she was before. Her chances of being successful have increased dramatically because of the skills she learned at CIP.
This past July, the CIP Amherst staff and students gathered to say goodbye as she transitions to the next exciting chapter of her life. Celebrating with pizza and a cake that said “Au revoir,” the party included sharings by Margie, various staff members and Margie’s dad as they reflected on her time at CIP.
Margie expressed the mixed emotions she was feeling: her sadness at leaving but her excitement about moving forward with her life. She pledged to stay in touch and let everyone know how she was doing. Margie’s father expressed his thankfulness for the growth he has seen in his daughter over her year at CIP.
He described her as changing from an anxious girl who asked to come home on a weekly basis for all sorts of reasons to a more confident young woman who had begun to build herself a life that was of her choosing. Comments from the staff also noted the changes Margie experienced throughout the year. Margie was described as confused, anxious and lacking confidence when she arrived but departing as a person who had gained practice in the art of making her own decisions and finding the courage to face life’s challenges.
We all wish her the very best in her endeavors and a bright and happy future.