Balance And Confidence

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This story was published in the Dartmouth College Fund’s Spring 2013 issue of GREEN at Dartmouth.

Jordan Aré ’15, of Houston, Texas, is a government major and a wide receiver on the varsity football team. Active in the Afro-American Society, the Men of Color Alliance, and the Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program, he was awarded the William Churchill First Year Prize in 2012 for outstanding academic achievement and “a record of contribution to fairness, respect for duty, and citizenship.”

Jordan Aré

“Winning the prize inspires me to push to my full potential,” says Jordan Aré ’15. (Photo by Caleb Kenna)

The first time I visited Dartmouth it was minus seven degrees and the first time I saw snow. But I was blown away by the facilities, the faculty, the academics, and the people. Everybody on campus was friendly and approachable. I felt very much at home.

I attended FYSEP, Dartmouth’s First Year Student Enrichment Program, which helped me overcome my anxieties about taking college-level courses. Professors in psychology, government, and math gave us lectures and assignments—all of this during the August football practice season. FYSEP was a great indicator of how I’d have to manage my time.

I got a B-plus on a FYSEP paper in psychology, which made me think, OK, I can do this. My confidence went way, way up.

Balancing football and academics has been a challenge, but I’ve learned how to maximize my time and be efficient with my studies. It’s all about quality rather than quantity. If I had to advise somebody, I’d tell them to work for an hour or two, then take a break, because otherwise you’re just burning yourself out and your mind won’t retain the information.

When I learned I’d won the Churchill Prize I was taken aback and felt very honored and humbled. My mom cried on the phone when she heard the news. I received a crystal trophy, a bookstore gift certificate, and a voucher for dinner with my dad, who flew up for the ceremony. He kept saying to me, “We are so proud of you.” Winning the prize inspires me to push to my full potential.