Who Am I, and How Did I Get Here?
Up until 2015, I was convinced that the University of Washington would be the last college I would choose to attend throughout my undergraduate education. Despite the fantastic campus and research opportunities, I had always wanted to leave Seattle behind in order to explore a new city, culture, and lifestyle. However, in tenth grade I learned about the UW Robinson Center and eagerly applied to be accepted into college after my sophomore year of high school. I have always enjoyed pushing myself, so I felt prepared to take on the challenges of university life. I had also discovered a passion for studying Psychology and English and was excited by the opportunity to begin exploring both subjects in depth under the guidance of specialized professors. After many informational sessions, making it through the SAT, and touring the campus, which surprisingly I had never visited in my sixteen and some years as a local, I was thankfully accepted into the Robinson Center’s next class of “Acad Students.”
Autumn Quarter of Freshman year is somewhat a blur. I most clearly remember entering my English 111 class at 8:30 the first Wednesday morning with a bright smile and exiting the final Friday in December with bags under my eyes, swearing to never take a class before 9:30 again. However, in addition to confirming that I am definitely not an early bird, I was also amazed by the breadth and depth of knowledge we covered in only ten weeks. All of my professors were passionate about the subjects they taught, and this passion translated into an engaging learning environment.
In the middle of Fall Quarter, I learned that the Honors Program was working with the Robinson Center to offer first year students the chance to try out an interdisciplinary class during Winter Quarter. Shortly after, I signed up to take a class on Russian crime literature with Professor Galya Diment. At first I was nervous that amongst so many other intelligent, enthusiastic students, who had already been accepted into the program, I would fall behind, but the interactive nature of the class allowed us to all progress together. I loved the community and applied for second-year admission to Interdisciplinary Honors as soon as possible. During Spring Quarter, I was also able to take a course on human trafficking with Professor Kirsten Foot during which we participated in experiential learning by volunteering with the organization Seattle Against Slavery. This was an eye-opening, transformative course, which solidified my hope to be accepted into Honors.
After learning that I would be able to continue with this interdisciplinary program, I began to think about what I would do with this opportunity. Immediately I began to look into international engagement and am planning to apply to the four week summer study abroad trip in Rome. When selecting classes, I first determine which topics interest me and then try to choose the one which I know the least about. Being outside of my comfort zone has pushed me to work hard, be attentive, be curious, and to think critically about different aspects of the world and how they came to be. I have also loved being able to travel off campus during classes to participate in service, and most recently, to observe different forms of archives with visiting Professor Eirik Johnson. Throughout the next three years, I plan to continue diversifying my education and hopefully to also pursue Departmental Honors if I am admitted to a Psychology and English major.
After a year at the UW, and now living on campus, I have discovered how truly amazing this University is and am incredibly grateful to be studying here with many wonderful peers. And as I savor my time here as an undergraduate student, I will also look forward to earning a diploma and continuing on to grad school in a new state, perhaps even out of country. I want to see, to learn, travel, and experience as much as I can, and taking diverse courses offered through Interdisciplinary Honors is the first step in being able to achieve this goal.