Keys to Being a Successful Environmental Studies Major:

Keys to Being a Successful Environmental Studies Major:

Rylie Casey likes to start her day at 8:00 a.m. After she lets her family’s dogs outside, she eats breakfast, and gets ready to tackle her day. She drives to Millikin University, where she has class between 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Afterwards, Rylie returns home, eats lunch, and begins her assigned homework. Around 3:30 p.m., Rylie changes into a red shirt and gets ready for work. Rylie is a cashier at Target and works the late shift from 4 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. If necessary, she will study for a quiz or exam during her break. Rylie usually ends her day around 11 p.m. with some quick snuggles with her dogs and looking at her next day’s schedule.

“Sometimes it can feel like it is a lot and can be overwhelming, but it is all about time management and priorities. I know what I have to get done by a certain time,” Rylie said. There are times, although rare, when Rylie feels it is necessary to call off work. She understands that her education comes first, and Rylie’s grades are more important to her than one day at work.

Rylie thinks the best advice she can give students at Millikin, is to make connections and get to know their professors while at Millikin University. Rylie stated, “One of the biggest things, other than just going to class, is to make a good relationship with your professors and classmates. Ask questions, participate in class, do the homework and pay attention. That’s really all you have to do to be successful in the classroom.”

There are great people, students, professors, and faculty at Millikin University. One of the most important people in the environmental studies department is Roslyn O’Conner. O’Conner is not only a professor at Millikin University, but she is also the advisor for all environmental studies majors.

According to Professor O’Conner, the keys to being a successful environmental studies major is time management and getting help from the professors if needed. Professor O’Conner advises students to have a schedule. She said, “Every day, write down what you are doing every hour of that day. It will allow you time for class, eating, study time, and also your fun time. If you stick to that schedule and get your work done, you get to have your fun time with no stress.”

Professor O’Conner believes that opportunities and experiences out of the classroom are equally as important. She encourages her students to volunteer and work, if possible. She says these experiences will help her students decide what they like and do not like, and the more experience is key to setting them apart from others in the job they want to pursue. 

While Rylie enjoys her job at Target, she knows she needs job experience in her major and will need to find something new soon. However, for now, time management is a priority in balancing a day in the life of a college student.


Charles (Tre’) Corley

Millikin University ‘23

Environmental studies major with a concentration and desire in agriculture. Strong job integrity, experience in soil testing, love the outdoors.

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