Student Spotlight: Charlotte Hayes

Josh Duke

Name: Charlotte Hayes

Major: Higher Education

Hometown: Alexandria, VA (right outside Washington, D.C.)

What made you choose the FSU Higher Education Program? The FSU Higher Ed program was recommended to me by a mentor. I was unsure if I wanted to go to grad school in Florida (the heat and humidity initially sounded less than ideal), but I figured I would try applying and see what happened. Once I got to campus for my program's Visiting Days in the spring semester, I fell in love with the campus, enjoyed meeting my potential cohort mates, and found the assistantship opportunities unique compared to the other schools I was touring. When deciding between Florida State and my other options, I kept finding myself saying, "I think I would be happier at FSU," which I realized was the most significant deciding factor for me. No matter which institution I attended for graduate school, I would be prepared to be a strong professional in the Student Affairs field, so I made it a priority to go where I would be most happy.

What has been your most memorable moment at FSU? My most memorable moment at FSU was when I met my best friend, Sarah. I met Sarah when I first started advising the Gamma Phi Beta sorority chapter in my second semester. She had just graduated in December but was still attending char. After I introduced myself to the chapter, Sarah came up to me and asked if we could get coffee sometime.  Our friendship grew from there, and we quickly became best friends. We discovered we both have a lot in common - we are both avid runners who want to go to law school and become Title IX Coordinators (among other traits). Sarah has become one of my dearest friends and I know we will be in each other's lives far past our time at FSU.

What advice do you have for future students? Get involved in something outside of the program! You will constantly be surrounded by your cohort; you all are in class together, study together, and work together. And while having built-in friends is fantastic, I found that I was initially burning out faster than usual because I did not have another outlet outside of Higher Ed. Tallahassee is an interesting city and there are ways to get involved with the community outside of the program! I found my other outlets by advising the FSU chapter of my sorority and getting involved with a church in town.

What are your plans for after graduation? I am planning on attending law school after graduation. My goal is to become a Title IX Coordinator or work in a  General Counsel office at a University.

Anything else you'd like to share? Above all else, take care of yourself. Learn how to read/skim efficiently and get involved while still ensuring you take time to care for yourself. You will be living in your body for the next 50+ years, make sure you do what you need to stay happy and healthy. While graduate school is challenging at times, it is worth it!