These Years Are for Exploration

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When I first came to UNM, I was here to try something new. I had lived most of my life in Portland, Oregon, so I decided to go to school in a state where I knew no one and nothing about the culture. I wanted to experience new people and places. My roommate was my first friend in the state, but we didn’t really have a lot of the same interests. She was very quickly and deeply involved ROTC and ResLife, and I just wanted to explore what was out there.

The Honors College very quickly became a place for me to do exactly that. Some of my closest friends to this day are the ones I met in my Legacy of Storytelling class. Together, we made butterbeer, hiked through the East Mountains, went swing dancing, explored Albuquerque’s rather disappointing nightlife, and more.

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With them, I quickly learned that, while Honors is a great place for highly motivated students—like my roommate—who know exactly what they want to do and how they want to go about it, Honors is also a place for high achieving students like me who just want to explore, learn, and grow.

The classes I have taken in Honors have encouraged me to look at the many ways my degree can be applied. I have had the opportunity to use character analysis in a “math class” and learned how Harry Potter can teach us about the intersection between community and efficiency in the workplace. The interdisciplinary nature of Honors has bled into my work in every other area, even shaping my senior thesis into a study that crosses four departments on campus.

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Because of all the things I have had the opportunity to explore through Honors and UNM, I feel empowered to succeed as I leave UNM this spring and embark on new adventures and experience new people and places.

So, what is my advice to others who are in the midst of a new adventure here at UNM? First, get involved. Honors is an easy place to do it because there are so many groups to be a part of, but you can get involved all over campus. Find a place where you can do what you love with others who love it too. That completely changed my college experience. And then, do all you can to get as much possible out of your years at UNM.

Then, when you arrive at your senior year, and you’ve done all you could to make your time here exceptional, you’ll be able to look forward to the millions of opportunities ahead of you with the confidence that the whole world is just an adventure waiting to be had.

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by Christine Anderson

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