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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Senior offers words of wisdom to UMW freshmen

Senior offers words of wisdom to UMW freshmen


The 2017 school year is beginning to wrap up and graduating seniors are preparing to write a new chapter in their lives and endure a new adventure. For them, it has been four years of papers and exams, late nights in Simpson Library and the Hurley Convergence Center, many trips to Blackstone for the largest coffees available and celebrating with their life-long friends for semesters’ ends.

While seniors have only a few weeks left before they throw their caps in the air, University of Mary Washington freshman are just gearing up to make the most of their college careers. To facilitate a discussion between freshman and seniors, an aggregate of questions submitted by some freshmen were given to seniors to answer with the best advice freshman can use to make the best of the rest of their college years.

Ryan Goodrich, a freshman who intends to major in music and communications asked, “Looking back on finding your major, is it something that you love, or is it just something that you knew would pay well? And if it’s something you love, do you have any advice on how to embrace that and go for it?”

Christine Mackrell, a senior majoring in geography and political science, who is going on to graduate school for geography, answers this in her love for geography.

“I am a geography major, and that is certainly a field that I love first and foremost. It also has the potential to pay well depending on what route you take. I would say that it is different from person to person, but just remember that whatever path you choose, you will have to be able to tolerate doing that thing every single day. Choosing a major that makes you miserable but could make you a lot of money down the road does not make sense. Any major you choose can be profitable if you take all of the opportunities you can and make yourself known. It’s all about how you spin it.”

Clara Ludtke, also a geography major, appends on this as well. “I think that you just have to keep an open mind, and I suggest taking every opportunity your professors present you with. I’m a Research Assistant right now, and I’ve had the opportunity to go to conferences so there are ways that you can make your major marketable.”

Another aspect of college life is a student’s involvement in clubs outside of the classroom. Frankie Edwards, a freshman intending to major in history, asked seniors how clubs and activities affected one’s college experience.

Mackrell thought back on her experiences in both WMWC Campus Radio and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee stating, “Being a part of these clubs helped me make friends and opened me up to new things. I think freshman should be willing to try a lot of different clubs until they find the right one, because those people can become awesome friends.”

Ludtke said, “I transferred to Mary Washington, so joining clubs are where I made most of my friends in college. I’m in a few clubs now, and all of them bring something different to my college experience. One of them is a service club, and the other is an environmental club, so clubs are a way for me to get more involved in the campus community as well as the Fredericksburg area. Clubs also helped my find my niche in college. I honestly think without them I’d be kinda lost.”

Lastly, Nora Whelan, a freshman and intended biology major asked, “How can you prepare for life after college in your upperclassmen years?”

Cameron Duncan, a senior majoring in English and plans to go on to grad school for her Master’s in Education, said, “don’t procrastinate on thinking about your future. Start thinking about internships, programs and jobs during your sophomore year. Look into grad school, jobs and other future endeavors your junior year. But more importantly, don’t panic if you don’t know what you’re doing yet. The one thing I have learned is that no one knows what they are doing.”