I began my four years at PLU uncertain about what I wanted to do with my time here. I was interested in pre-veterinary medicine, and I had applied and been accepted into the International Honors program, but when I sat down with my advisor I felt uncertain about where I was going. I think that’s a feeling many students can relate to as they are entering college, and it’s important to remember that it’s perfectly normal–advisors, friends, mentors, and counselors are there to help.
I signed up for some introductory classes, including my first IHON class and my first introductory biology course. My advisor told me that it’s very hard to get into veterinary school, but if I chose to stick to it he could point me toward the right classes. That first semester was a difficult adjustment as I managed my own schedule and slowly built a sense of community with my hallmates. However, by the end of the semester I found that I had learned a lot about what I was capable of, and I had a tight-knit group of friends that I could lean on. Although my biology course was by far my most difficult class it was undoubtedly my favorite, so when registration for the next semester rolled around I signed up for both chemistry and biology.
Here’s a picture of me at the Keck Observatory during the transit of Venus this summer!
Since then I have taken many, many more biology and IHON classes. I have found that the discussion-based, internationally focused IHON classes balance well with my science courses, rounding out my college experience. I strongly suggest getting involved in clubs and organizations to diversify your experience–I have participated in PLU’s exceptional choirs every semester that I’ve been here and it has been an invaluable opportunity. Another great opportunity that I have had is to work as a student-researcher with a faculty member. This gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in a research position, and was a great opportunity to build relationships with my fellow student researchers and with faculty. It is my opinion that one of PLU’s greatest strengths is in the education of the whole, well-rounded individual.
My time at PLU has provided me with opportunities to hone my academic skills, to grow personally, and to share in the collective experience of a liberal arts education. I can’t guarantee that all your wildest dreams will come true if you attend PLU, but I can tell you that you will be challenged, and that this is a supportive, healthy environment in which to explore what you want to do and who you want to be. For me, that is the best thing I could have asked for.