ASUW :: Associated Students of the University of Washington


Major: Political Science and International Studies Minor
Class Standing: Junior
Hometown:Kirkland, WA


Quote:
“ UW is definitely an environment where you need to step outside your comfort zone; if you need help you should ask for it. No one is going to necessarily hold your hand, which is beneficial but also intimidating. I had never found my voice, my inner strength, prior to this, so I was pushed to do that. ”


Tell us a bit about yourself and what are you are involved in around campus?
“I originally, upon accepting my offer to UW, was hesitant to become a husky since it was my dad’s alma mater and I wanted to blaze my own trail. But once I committed to UW, I found a definite home away home in several aspects of the school. I became involved in Panhellenic life, so that means I’m a member of sorority and the amazing community that accompanies it. Also, I have been involved in some youth groups on campus and had some study abroad experience.”


What is the most valuable experience you’ve had at UW?
“I would say the two most valuable experiences for me were my study abroad experience and Greek life. For me, personal growth is extremely important…I came to college as a quiet mouse of a person, and I wanted to fully embrace who I was. Study abroad was one of those situations where you’re tossed into a completely unknown and foreign environment and you’re forced to sink or swim. Everyone always ends up swimming, but it’s daunting to be somewhere new. I went to Greece over the summer, and I didn’t know anyone in my program. It was very much an out-of-body experience, because I had never had any prior interaction with Greek culture, save for maybe a gyro here or there. There is a such a power that comes with putting yourself in unknown situation and seeing how you develop from that.
Same thing with Greek life. That’s definitely been an amazing experience because I was able to find a community that not only supports, but also pushes me. I know that I am a stronger and more involved person because of the people I’ve met through this experience. They’ve opened my eyes, they’ve made my life more interesting, and they’ve made me a more well rounded individual. I’m incredibly blessed to have that influence.”


How was your transition to UW?
“My transition was really rocky to begin with because I was extremely introverted coming to UW…By no means was I the popular or “cool kid” in high school, and I was a little worried that for whatever reason that would follow me to college. One of my deepest fears was that I wouldn’t have the confidence to explore the things that interested me…I was very overwhelmed. You go from being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a very, very large pond. My first quarter, I stumbled quite often. I was trying to find out where I fit in–it’s challenging to not only force yourself into new situations but also reteach yourself how to make friends. UW is definitely an environment where you need to step outside your comfort zone; if you need help you should ask for it. No one is going to necessarily hold your hand, which is beneficial but also intimidating. I had never found my voice, my inner strength, prior to this, so I was pushed to do that. But after the first quarter, I had found my groove; I created some amazing friendships and began to get more involved. That’s when I finally realized this was the best place for me.”


What does a day in the life look like for you?
“Right now my home base is my sorority chapter house, where I’m currently living. I go back and forth between there a lot. I’m heavily involved in functions there, whether it be philanthropies, chapter meetings, or other fun events. I also work part time. Basically I wake up, go to class, come back to rest for a minute or do homework, go to work, and then back to the sorority or to various club meetings…If there’s a down night I also try to explore Seattle, even though it’s been my home since I was born. There’s always something new and interesting to find in this city.”


Is it hard to balance school with so many extracurriculars?
“Sometimes it feels like a lot, but it’s not difficult to balance. I think whatever you choose to spend your time on you need to make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. If I’m passionate about it, then I will definitely be comfortable spending my time on it…life gets hectic sometimes but you’re excited about what’s to come, there’s nothing about the day that doesn’t make you smile.”


What advice would you give incoming freshmen or transfer students?
“To start, just be open-minded. I know that’s so cheesy, and a lot of people would say that, but it’s true. There are so many things being thrown at you from a variety of different directions when at UW. Not only is the campus beautiful and visually stimulating, but you’re being mentally stimulated by your academics, and emotionally stimulated by new relationships and exposure to new information. Another piece of advice I would offer is that the ability to take all that in, but still remain centered is a really key aspect of coming to this university. I’ve met people I know are going to change the world while at this institution, but that doesn’t mean my own beliefs and interests are any less important. Even though we as students are exposed to so much, we have to be able to realize what’s meaningful to us personally and capitalize on that. Be open-minded but still remain you. That’s how you will change your world.”