Take it from me

A frequently overlooked resource on campus: your faculty and staff. We have been around for a while, a little longer than most of us like to admit, but because of this we have gained experience and knowledge that you may not have had the opportunity to learn yet. We all came from somewhere, and all of us want you to go somewhere great and have happy and fulfilling lives. So, take it from us. Here’s some advice we wish someone had given us as college students. -Kim Forman, Assistant to the Dean

Ken Tax, Senior Network Admin- BUSC & Adjunct Professor:

“So, there are two bits of advice that I would like to offer the students at Farmingdale State College. 

First, never stop going to school. You never know what's going to come up and prevent you from attending the next level of education. Eventually, you're going to meet that special someone and then maybe have children or just have a job that's too demanding on your time.  If you can afford it and logistically can accomplish it, continue on to your terminal degree until it's finished. 

Secondly, live in the moment. You have plenty of time to send a text and surf the web. You have hours and days to look at Instagram and live on social media, but you never know how long you have with the person you are hanging out with. All too often, I watch young people go out to dinner with their friends and spend 90% of their time on their cell phones. I have gone to live concerts and watched the younger generation record the concert on their cell phone. You are there to experience the show. You are not there to show your friends at home the concert they are missing. No one wants to watch a recorded show. Live for the moment.” 

Lisa Lubrano, Internship Coordinator:

“I have been asked for advice on more than once occasion throughout my life. There is only one piece of advice that has withstood the test of time and opened doors to the best jobs, friendships, and opportunities for adventure. So, here it is, “Get up, dress up, show up, and be present in the moment.”  

There are days when I don’t feel like dressing the part of a professional. I want to wear leggings and an oversized cuddly sweatshirt, but I do. I get up. I dress up.  I show up. Showing up isn’t enough. You must be present in the moment. What does that mean? I’m glad you asked. Being present in the moment, means wearing a smile, making eye contact, verbally acknowledging everyone in the room (even when they don’t make the effort to acknowledge me), engaging in conversation, listening carefully, asking insightful follow-up questions that let people know that I hear them, and last but not least, making some kind of a personal connection that I can later refer to when we meet again. Something like, “So, how was your vacation to Aruba?” Everyone wants to be remembered. I know I do. 

I met my best friend at a college party that I did not want to go to. I was a transfer student, and I only knew one person at the party. She was the host and had no time to babysit me. I forced myself to go and mingle. The end result of getting up, dressing up, showing up, and being present in the moment was a friendship that I have treasured for more than 30 years.    

I got my dream job that would position me to buy my first apartment when I was 28 years old because I built a relationship with a client who would later ask me to work for his company. He said I never missed a beat. I dressed for the job I wanted. I greeted everyone personally. I listened to the challenges faced by the company, offered ideas and sometimes walked with him through the streets of Manhattan serving only as a sounding board. I was present in the moment. He hired me for my presence.  

I welcomed the opportunity to travel to Russia with 35 strangers in January of 1991. I got up from my chair in the airport and tearfully said goodbye to my parents. I dressed up in clothing fit for a snowman in a blizzard. I showed up to every meal and every excursion with a smile, inviting someone new to sit with me on the bus as much as possible. I engaged with a Russian soldier on a train to Leningrad. His life story defined for me the word gratitude for the rest of my life. His uniform coat remains in my home to this very day as a reminder of what is really important in life. All of this is because I got up, dressed up, showed up, and was present in the moment.     

I live the advice I am giving you. As a professional, this advice has served me well. As a parent, a spouse, a daughter, a sister, and in every other role I play in my life getting up, dressing up, showing up, and being present in the moment has earned me a life of happiness.  

There will be so many times when you are tired and need that extra push. Do it. Push yourself. One missed opportunity could be the opportunity that changes your life, personally or professionally. Good luck!”