Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why Pacific? - Sarah's Story

Name: Sarah
Major: Sociology - Currently abroad in York, England
Year: Junior
Hometown: Camas, WA

What was your college search like?
My college search process was guided by my career goal at the end of high school. At the time, I wanted to be an Audiologist. I had taken every step that I could think of to prepare myself for that pursuit. I studied the field independently, I job shadowed an Audiologist, I interviewed four or five Audiologists, ENT's, and SLP's, I did my due-diligence at preparing for a field that I though I was passionate about. So when I looked at schools, I tried to find a university that would allow me to study Pre-Communication Sciences and Disorders, so that I could transition into graduate school seamlessly.

How did you hear about Pacific University?
I heard about Pacific through my parents. After they had returned home from a drive through wine country, my parents were convinced that Pacific was the university for me. Of course, in my angsty teenager mood I didn't believe them, but I started to like the idea of going there after visiting campus during the Concours d'Elegance. Seeing campus in the summer was a turning point that put Pacific on my radar, so when I returned to high school in the Fall, I was beyond ready to meet the Pacific representative. 

What was your first Pacific visit like?
My first time visiting Pacific was during Pacesetters. I remember driving through the Oregon countryside and how green and beautiful it was. It had just become spring so everything was green and gorgeous. The fog was just lifting as we drove around the roundabouts, and I remember myself getting butterflies when I saw the "Welcome to Forest Grove" sign. Campus seemed so big at the time, and so unfamiliar. But the buildings were beautiful and learning about all of the amenities and services that Pacific offered made me believe that I would have a worthwhile experience there. Everyone was so friendly when we got there, and I was convinced after my visit that I wanted to go to Pacific. 

Why Pacific?
A few factors made me decide to come to Pacific, the first was that it was so close to home. I love my family and I wanted to be able to visit them whenever I wanted. I also love living in the Pacific North West, so being close to Portland and a lot of different outdoor excursions made me really excited. Academically, I loved that Pacific was one of the few schools that had a CSD program, and that I could take a course to be guaranteed an interview at my graduate school of choice. Pacific also had small class sizes, which meant I wouldn't be forgotten or considered another statistic in a university classroom. Pacific was (and continues to be) there for me every step of the way My councilor supported me not only through the last leg of high school, but also through my applications for scholarships. She encouraged and supported  me and that gave me a great impression of what my life at Pacific was going to be like. There were so many opportunities that Pacific offered me, and it seemed silly to refuse those opportunities. It was also a friendly and nurturing environment that supported my discovery and exploration of the unfamiliar.  

Are you happy with your college choice?
I am happy I chose Pacific because I have had so many wonderful experiences here. Not all of them have been good, but what I love about that is that my community at Pacific encouraged me to be resilient in the face of adversity and to keep trying, no matter how tough things get. I have been able to meet my best friends, some of them from around the world. I have also been able to cultivate relationships with my professors, who are also encouraging and supportive. I have gained professional experience through my two jobs on campus, which have also given me so many amazing mentors who guide me and help me without hesitation. Through Pacific I was also able to study abroad this semester and not have that disturb my academics, and being in a different country has also made me realize how excited I am to come back to my fellow Boxers. I have had an amazing experience of exploring and meeting people from every walk of life. 

What are you involved in at Pacific?
On campus I'm involved in the Muslim Student Association, which is an inclusive club that has allowed myself and other young muslims to connect with our fellow Boxers (no matter their religion), I'm a part of French club, where we have a lot of fun watching films, making crepes, and go adventuring together. I also got to meet plenty of people from different countries through the International Program, which connected me with my friends from Japan, Germany, and Hong Kong. 

What are you planning on doing with the rest of your time at Pacific?
My goal for next semester is to bring UNICEF's Campus Initiative to Pacific, which is a grassroots campaign that encourages college students to help children around the world who are in need. 

What are your plans after Pacific?
After Pacific I plan to attend graduate school for Sociology to continue my passion for the field. During my time at Pacific I discovered an excitement for Sociology and conducting sociological research. Although this is different from my former plans, it opened new avenues for me to explore as well as new ways of thinking and looking at the world around me. Aside from this, I plan to volunteer either at home or abroad and find work in something that inspires me.

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