Texas Tech helps students transition into adulthood

Texas Tech offers its students a variety of resources that can help shape them become them learn the basics of being an adults. Some of these include the University Career Center, Student Legal Services and Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching.

Lexie Lee, a lead counselor for student development at the University Career Center located in the Wiggins Complex, said the center provides resources to students and alumni that are held in person or virtually to help with job searching, career and personal development and resumes/cover letters.

“We do help with the job searching process. We do have some resources in regards to open jobs as well as rewiring those documents such as resume, cover letter, personal statement. And we also help with career exploration,” said Lee.

In addition to the resources provided for career and personal development the center can help shape students to become an adult Lee said.

 “I think we can kind of shape them, I think informing students about resources or about best practices in this job world, you know, our job is to inform and assist as best as we can,” Lee said.

The Career Center does not only assist in the process of jobs, but guides them with information and resources for adulthood, Lee said. Along with these methods given out front, the center also supplies students with skills for job success.

“I think we provide them with a lot of skills but I think the biggest thing is we help them grow. I think we provide great insight as to what hiring managers and recruiters are looking for. An example is soft skills/interpersonal skills and how important they are,” said Lee. These soft skills are what employers are searching for within the candidates and by practicing them now through the center students are more prepared.

However, these assets are not only for current students but can be used for life. Lee said that not everything will apply to alumni but they are not left out.

“Our services are provided to Red Raiders for life. Obviously, there might be some events or resources that might not be relevant for where they’re at but our services and events and everything that we do offer is available,” said Lee. This is helpful for adults wanting to explore different career paths with guidance.

The University Career Center is not the only organization Tech offers to help students but as well as Student Legal Services located in room 307, in the Student Union Building. Jeffrey Hays, an attorney at law at Tech, said the department offers not only free legal services but preventative programs.

Hays said that he strongly encourages students to come in and obtain free services.

“We offer free or no additional cost attorneys and there’s no out-of-pocket fee for students. They’re more confidential, so no expense and worry that we’re going to tell Texas Tech or your parents is not what's going to happen,” Hays said.

The services provided are confidential and will not get out to parents or the university. Hays said that he specifically works with students in lease agreements or any contract that needs reading.

“So I argue with the landlord and if students have issues with their landlord they can come see me and I’ll try and help as much as I can. We have a criminal defense attorney, and then an everything else attorney that does family law, estate planning, contract drafting, contract review, auto accidents,” said Hays.

The problems a student may have can be assisted through the attorneys at no cost to students. Nevertheless, the services can help shape students to become an adult through their preventive education, Hays said.

“Preventive education is helpful especially when you experience your first employment contract or lease; it just adds to the level of application to that student. If you’re 18 you haven’t done those things and maybe you’ve worked a summer job or job that didn’t require a contract but when you graduate you’re gonna need to know what that looks like,” Hays said. 

Through the program, it helps prepare students for after-college jobs and how to do these things by yourself. The course is educational for any student who does not know the first steps in the process of jobs and contracts.

Student Legal services, but it also offers workshops which consist of developing students' legal rights without a parent since they are 18 and have the power to appoint who they want, Hays said.

“We also do some adulting at the beginning of the year, we just had it, it's our power of attorney workshop. Once a student turns 18 mom and dad can’t make medical decisions for them if they can’t make them for themselves. So you make someone who can make those decisions in case you can’t” said Hays.  

The Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching, located in room 201, in the SUB, is a program staffed by students who are in pursuit of their personal financial planning degrees, according to Red to Black’s website. Sally Lin Liu, a second-year senior majoring in personal financial planning from Santa Fe, Mexico, is a financial advocate for the Red to Black and everyone is there to help you with financial issues.

“They can help you maximize your financial aid but we also offer a lot of other things besides just college-related financial issues, we can go over budgeting with people like making a savings account, credit cards, and what kind of debt there is,” said Lin Liu.

The department assists students for life in college but after with important information covering credit cards and debt that can affect your future financial situation. However, through the program students are receiving hands-on experience on financial concepts that can be implemented in adulthood.

“It's important that while you’re going through your college experience you also have some kind of experience of learning how to be an adult too, and that can include making yourself a budget and finding out which credit card could be best and how credit cards will affect you in the long term. What kind of loans are there to take and being aware of what these loans do and any interest rates,” Lin Liu said.

There are multiple aspects the program can assist students with such as credit cards and bank accounts. The peer assistance helps shape students to be informed on their journey to becoming an adult and with this help they can eventually become independent, Lin Liu said.

“What it means to be an adult to me, this is just my opinion, but means to have some sort of independence for yourself. And you can rely on other people to help you get there, but it really comes down to where you want to make sure that you feel you can do whatever task,” Lin Liu said. 

Once an individual feels comfortable completing a task on their own they have the ability to do what they want. Classes that provide this guidance are not always offered in high school which makes the Red to Black an important option for students, Lin Liu said.

“In high school, they don’t offer those classes that much so it's not really like an option, sometimes to where people don’t know a certain thing about being an adult but we are a helpful resources,” Lin Liu said.