Less Stress, More Success
Hey friends, my name is Lauren Vela! I graduated from OBU in May of 2017 with a degree in Family and Community Service, and now I work here on campus in the admissions department as an Admissions Counselor! I love sharing with students about my favorite memories and placed here on campus and one of those places is found on the third floor of the library!
The Mabee Learning Center is anything but your average library. Of course you’ll find books, computers, tables, desks and even snack machines. You’ll find students printing twenty page papers, catching up with friends in the lobby, and even pass by the students frantically studying for their tests. However, none of those things are what make this place unique. On the third floor of the Mabee Learning Center, students and staff come together and create what’s called The Student Success Center (SSC). Although those bright green walls are enticing, it’s the people within those green walls that make the Student Success Center a place that not only fosters a creative learning environment, but a deep sense of community.
The Student Success Center is made up of what we call “Academic Mentors”, this group of upperclassmen spend their time leading study sessions, proof-read papers, and walk through homework assignments. However, something that doesn’t fall under the job description is the depth at which they care for the students who cross their paths. I remember coming up to the SSC as a scared freshman. I would climb up three flights of stairs to sit with familiar faces and look over homework and papers. One of those familiar faces, who is now a dearly loved friend, was also a Family and Community Service major, just like me. She eagerly helped me with my papers, calmed my fears about big projects, and always spoke words of encouragement over me when I needed it. Over the course of three years, sweet Hannah Slater had no idea how much she had impacted my college career. I came to the SSC for a physical need and always ended up leaving with so much more.
After spending a significant part of my freshman and sophomore year in and out of the Student Success Center, I was hired on as an Academic Mentor. I mean, I had already spent so much time in this place that it was about time I started working there. I loved the opportunity that this job gave me to not only work with my favorite people, but serve OBU students in a way that made them feel loved and empowered to do good work. My favorite part was leading Cram Jams for Western CIV. Students are often overwhelmed by these tests and so taking the time to walk back through information and help them sort it out brought so much joy to my heart! I was able to pray with students who were anxious and encourage those who needed it!
I love this place and enjoyed working there so much because of the ways that the people there invested in me! They didn’t just help me with my homework, they encouraged me, supported me, and became some of my very best friends. Then I was able to turn around and pour into students the same way that I had been poured into. If you get a chance, go check out the Student Success Center! It just might change your life!
Lauren Vela, Admissions Counselor