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Student Spotlight: Emma S.


Hi Emma, tell us about yourself

My name is Emma S. and I am a Junior at Augsburg majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business Administration. I am originally from Colorado and I’ve been in StepUP for three years. I love playing intramural soccer, to paint and to draw. Also, I like green apples. Photo of Emma S

Why did you come to StepUP?

I came to StepUP because I wasn’t going to stay sober as a freshman in college without it. I first heard about StepUP from students that came to speak at the treatment center I was in. There were other schools I checked out, but StepUP had such a large sober community compared to the others, and Augsburg seemed really cool.

What keeps you going?

My higher power is definitely number one, although it can be hard to stick to it and have faith during difficult times. I have found that when I have faith, I always turn out ok. I also go to meetings and have a sponsor. I don’t litter, because I used to litter a lot. It’s easy to tell when I’m not on the right track because I tend to think about littering more often, along with participating more in gossip and negative self talk. I know that when my recovery needs work, I’ll be able to tell by paying attention to what is going on in my thoughts or my school performance. If I need help, the StepUP community, wider recovery community and my family are always there to support me.

Advice to incoming students?

You need to come in wanting success, in school and recovery, for yourself. Doing it for someone else will not work. Get involved! Keep up momentum! These things will lead to happiness and continued sobriety. Connect with people, don’t isolate. StepUP is going to be what you make it, so putting in the work will pay off.

Speaking of getting involved, what is up with Leadership Team?

I’ve been a part of leadership team for a little over one year. We are a group of StepUP students who volunteer our time to help improve our community. There are three ways that we do this, and each has a “chair” on leadership team who is responsible for it. These are service, events and advocacy. Service chair was my position for most of my time on the team, it was my job to go out into the community and find opportunities for StepUP students to be helpful to others, especially to those in recovery. When I found service positions, we would announce them during StepUP’s Big Circle meeting so people could sign up to volunteer. Service is very important because you are essentially the face of StepUP to the city. That goes for the service chair and the students volunteering. Another position is Events Chair. They are responsible for organizing an event for StepUP students once a month, which has been very important for connecting the community. And finally there is Advocacy Chair. Their job is to hear students needs and to communicate them to staff.

I am now the Leadership Chair, so I “manage” the 3 chairs, and connect with the StepUP director, Tam, to update her on what we are up to. We are always taking applications for leadership team! You can attend one of our meetings the day you apply.

What music have you been listening to lately?

Angus & Julia Stone. And some G-Eazy because he is my husband. Some Billie Eilish. I’ve always listened to a lot of rap music but I’ve been slowing down on that because a lot of it has some really negative messages. Good vibes and positivity is what I need.

What has been your favorite class so far?

Abnormal Psych. I want to do clinical psychology so it’s exactly what I will be dealing with in my career.

Plans after graduation?

I want to go to graduate school for clinical psychology. There are a lot of possibilities still, so I am focusing on the semester for now.

Anything else?

Just remember to take it one day at a time. If we can just finish today sober, we’re golden. It’s important never to forget that.