Expanding her comfort zone

CATEGORIES: Student Stories


Expanding her comfort zone

Sydney Rippin (’23 psychology) is proud to say that she’s become a confident leader, a trusted academic coach and a skilled researcher during her time at Iowa State University. She’ll also tell you that developing these strengths required her to jump into unfamiliar waters.

“Many experiences at Iowa State pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me that I am capable of being a leader,” Sydney said. “At first, I was intimidated by the large university, but I quickly learned that getting involved in the Department of Psychology and on campus was easy.”

During a campus visit, Sydney was drawn to Iowa State’s beautiful campus and friendly people. The warm welcome continued during her freshman year and was evident in the Psychology Learning Community.

“After joining the learning community, I connected with other psychology majors and I got to know people who were in my classes and everyone was so encouraging,” Sydney said. “I also gained peer mentors who guided me through my freshman year, which was very helpful and got me more involved and plugged into so many opportunities.”

Helping students grow

SydneySydney will begin graduate school in 2023, with firm plans to become a school counselor. She says the Department of Psychology has been key to her academic success, career growth and newfound confidence.

“The professors are very approachable and always happy to help, and the department has many classes that align with your career interests,” Sydney said. “I can’t thank my psychology academic advisor enough for being so supportive of my goals. She’s been a reference for me many times and she’s helped me secure jobs at the Academic Success Center and the Psychology Advising Office.”

Sydney is a psychology advising assistant and peer coach for Iowa State’s Academic Success Center. The experience has strengthened her public speaking and interpersonal skills. She now feels capable and at ease when leading and advising students.

“I have grown so much in just a semester and I am now more comfortable speaking to groups and working one-on-one with students,” Sydney said. “I will encounter those situations in my future career and I already feel that I am now much better prepared. ”

Sydney also expanded her skills by conducting research and collecting data at Network Community Counseling Services.

“I have enjoyed learning about research processes and engaging in work experiences that provided insight into the counseling psychology program at Iowa State,” Sydney said. “I highly recommend finding work experiences related to your major.”

Sydney notes that social activities also provide rewarding and memorable moments. In addition to serving as recruitment counselor and executive council member for her sorority, Sydney was also a member of CySquad and a psychology ambassador. These experiences allowed her to make friends and build a supportive network on campus.

“All of my experiences, along with my classes, have made me feel ready and excited to go to graduate school and then on to my career,” Sydney said. “I definitely made the right choice as Iowa State has always felt like home and I have loved being a Cyclone!”