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Interview with a College Student
Would you tell us your name, hometown and major?
My name is Lauren. I am from Okeene, Oklahoma. It is a very small town in Northwest Oklahoma. And my major is Health Promotion (at Oklahoma State University).
Okay, I’m going to ask you a few questions…some of them are a little silly…but we’ll just get through it. Sounds good.
Tell us your favorite type of music is? What is my favorite type of music? I’m kind of a “rock” fan. I like “indy”, (independent), kind of new age music. A lot of non-mainstream, not played on the radio a lot kind of music.
Alright…Do you prefer sand or snow? Oh my goodness. If I have to choose, I would probably choose sand. I like the beach. I like having a tan, and I really do not like being cold.
Do you like sports cars better? Or pickup trucks? Can I choose neither one? I like more SUV’s because it you can fit more people, but it still has…it’s bigger than a sports car. Sports cars might be fun, but I like the SUV’s and they’re better for the environment – the hybrids.
Which do you like better, sports or the arts? Sports. Hands down.
Do you like salad or steak? Oh, can I say both? I’m a country girl, so I love that meat – I love my steak, but I like my veggies too.
Alright, now let’s ask some questions that are more closely related to college… Do you have your own computer, and if so, is it a desktop or laptop? I do. I have my own computer, it’s a desktop. I actually, it just crashed, and I had to bring it up to OSU’s IT (Information Technology Department) and they fixed it for me. It’s all good now, but it was sick for a little while.
Have you got your own car? I do. I drive a Honda Civic. It’s one of those little cars I don’t like, but it gets good gas mileage.
Do you feel like you need to have one as a college student? Maybe if you were in a bigger city and there was more public transportation available…In Stillwater we have the busses that run around campus and to Wal-Mart, but if you don’t have one it’s not going to hinder you in any way. But if you like to drive around…and that type of thing, it’s always nice to have one.
Do you work during the school year? I do, yes
Where do you work, and how much do you work? I work during the school year as a nanny for two little girls. I work probably around 20 to 25 hours a week. Just probably part time.
That’s a lot of work for a college student… It is… Sometimes it gets a little crazy.
Alright, who has had the biggest influence on your life? I would have to say my friends. I could give the cookie-cutter… My parents have had a great impact on my life. But I think the people you spend the most time with are the people who are the ones who affect your personality and “get” who you really are. I would have to say my friends because they have shown me so many more things than my parents have. You tend to listen to people your own age more and take advice from them more than you do adults. In all honesty…
What activities are you involved in while you’re in school? I love to play intramural sports. I’m on like six different intramural teams. We do like the basketball, volleyball, softball, football. All that kind of stuff. I’m into different kinds of clubs and organizations. I’m in the Health Promotion Club, for my major. I’m involved in that. I’m in “Up til Dawn”
What’s that? It is a philanthropy organization on campus. It benefits Saint Jude’s Research Hospital. We raise money for the hospital and the kids. I also do Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life.
What did you actually do to prepare yourself for college? I did… I have three older siblings that came to school here. So I talked to them a lot. They gave me a lot of pointers. So I would suggest if you don’t have an older sibling, talk to someone who has been through the experience before at least. They can give you some tips. Also, make sure you have things like a computer that you’ll need to be successful in your classes.
Tell us how much you actually study? Well they say you’re supposed to study two hours for every credit hour you’re taking. But…that doesn’t always happen. You kind of make up for it because… the first of the year you might be all “gung ho” and like “I’m going to read all of my assignments” , and then you kind of fall off. But then when finals come around you start studying more so you kind of make it up. So I would say it really depends on the class… Like I study a lot for one class that is important for my major, or not that I need a really good grade in. I’ll study more for a class like that, than I would for another one that wasn’t as beneficial for my career. It depends on the class. I would say that on average, I study maybe ten hours a week outside of class.
Now tell us what you do… This is a tough question. Tell us what you do to try to get to know your professors. I know when you get to your upper division classes, you kind of get to know your professors. But before, when I was an undergraduate (in lower division classes), I made sure the first week of class I went up to my professors and stuck my hand out…and I introduced myself. I would say, like “I’m Lauren and I’m taking your class”. So they’d have at least a face with a name. Also, office hours are a really good time to go talk to them. Especially if you’re having trouble with one of your tests or some homework. Getting to know your professors, I feel, is really important. That way, when you get to the end of the semester…if your grade is on the line between an A and a B, or between a B and a C, if they know you they are going to be more likely to give you that extra ‘bump’, like to help you out and give you that A or that B. Instead of if they never saw you in class, and they didn’t know who you were, they would be like “I don’t know this person”. They’re not going to be as willing or as likely to help you.
What is your favorite part of college? There are so many good parts… One thing?… I like the independence very much. It’s nice. Like I talk to my Mom and Dad every day still, but it’s the fact that I don’t have to “check in” or ask “can I go do this” or “can I go do that”. If you want to eat ice cream for dinner, you can eat ice cream for dinner. That’s one thing I like. I just like being able to like…there are so many different people in the world. You can get to know different cultures. You can take a class on like any culture you want, you can go find out about anything. I just think that’s so interesting, because not everyone lives the same way we do here in Oklahoma. Like, they don’t have the same customs. They don’t have the same traditions. And I just think it’s cool learning about that kind of thing and OSU is a good place – it’s very diverse.
Alright, so what’s your least favorite part of college? Writing papers, hands down. I would rather take a million tests than write one paper. I just do not like to write papers. That is by far the worst thing.
So, what surprised you most about college? How friendly people were, most definitely. I’m from a very small town, and I’m used to… I’ve known those people my entire life. The people I started Kindergarten with are the same people I graduated high school with. When I came here, to OSU, I was like “it’s bigger, I don’t know very many people”… But even like off campus, people are so friendly, you can talk to them, they’re more than willing to help if you’re having trouble or something. The openness you experience when you first get here was surprising to me.
Okay, what advice do you have for new students, for incoming freshmen? My best advice would be to talk to people, like get out, like not just your professors and advisors. Get out of your comfort zone. Talk to the person sitting next to you in class. I know that’s a really awkward situation, like when you first walk into a room and you don’t know anyone… You sit down, but it’s always going to be nice to know someone so in case you ever have to miss class or anything. And also, college is where… I think you find yourself most whenever you get away from home the first time. Because you can kind of start to think about new things and see really what you want to do with your life and where you want to go. And you can meet so many new people if you just put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone a little bit. You can really find if you can succeed and be a great person.
Can you tell us what your plans are for after graduation. After graduation, I have to do an internship, so I haven’t really found out where I’m going to do that. I’m going to join the Peace Corps after my internship – I’m planning on joining the Peace Corps. I want to work in Africa with children. I want to work with children who have AIDS, do preventative care, that kind of thing, nutrition and hygiene.