It’s a balancing act….

If you looked up the definition of busy in the dictionary, you would not be surprised to see a picture of Jillian Travis staring back at you from the page. Not only is the Tecumseh sophomore in Eastern’s premier elementary education program well on her way to graduation, she also is active on the cheer team, and maintains a semblance of a social life. That’s a whole lot to do and there are only so many hours in the day. What’s her secret? The Holman Success Center helped her, and it can help you too!

As a gymnast, Jill knows a thing or two about balance. And really, that is what college can be for many students: a balancing act. Completing assignments and studying for test is usually far more about time management than it is about not understanding the material. But you don’t have to be an academic acrobat to achieve success. Jill practices 10 hours a week for the EMU cheer team, in addition to attending one to two games a week. While the football players are usually done by the time the field is covered in snow, the cheer team is just getting started. They also keep spirits high at basketball games as well as volleyball. The 24 member strong pep team doesn’t get a full week off from September until March!

If that wasn’t a full enough schedule, Jill also works full time off campus. But don’t think all of this affects her grades: she is in the elite national Society of Colligate Scholars. They take fewer than 10% of students at any college where they have a chapter. That’s quite the accomplishment!

“The secret to it all,” Jill says, “is time management.” She picked up quite a few of these skills when she started last year in the PASS program. Like many student, she had her doubts at first. “Ten hours of study tables a week sounds inconvenient, but it forces you to pick up good habits. It sets you up for success.” It seems like no one has time for that, but the real question is how can you afford not to invest that time? In PASS Jill met with a success coach, to determine her goals. Jill remembered, “It was nice to have someone to make sure I was doing alright. If for whatever reason a success coach can’t help you, the best part is they can get you someone who can.” The biggest problem her freshman year was getting everything coordinated so that it was done on time. “Study Tables were a great place to get things done,” Jill quickly learned.

Another of the HSC services Jill uses is a Supplemental Instructor. When she was on the road, she missed class two weeks in a row, right before a midterm. While that might have spelt disaster for most, thanks to the SI, Jill was able to get notes, and catch up on what she missed, and did outstanding on the exam. Speaking of SIs, “They are so easy to approach. It can be a little nerve-racking to directly approach the PhD who is teaching the class. I was nervous he wouldn’t really want to help me understand something, so I went to the SI first. That turned out to be a great move.”

The PASS program worked on many levels for Jill. She loved her UNIV class, where she learned more about the nuts and bolts of college life more than any esoteric subject. In fact, in UNIV, she made many friends, including her current roommate. Jill said, “It’s great having a roommate from UNIV. She shares my ideals and priorities for success. We are on the same page when it comes to getting work done.” Perhaps most excitingly of all, with all of the work she put into the PASS program and meeting her study table hours, she was able to secure a $1500 scholarship. While knowledge is certainly its own reward for studying, cash never hurts!


Jill had this advice for anyone thinking about using the Holman Success Center, “You’re crazy for not using it. It’s free. They are here to help. Asking for help doesn’t make you dumb; it is the smartest thing to do.”

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