Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
It depends on what day of the week you're asking me. I'm hoping to major in Bioengineering; however, it's quite a competitive major, so my fallback is International Relations. Depending on what happens, I'm aiming for either a team position on a stem cell research team, or an aid worker job in Southeast Asia.
How do you think a college education will help you get there?
Stem cell research requires a degree- there's no way to jump into that field without the necessary biology, math, etc. My University also has a considerable amount of funding for stem cell research compared to other schools. International Relations will help prepare me for aid work by familiarizing me with global trends, customs, and languages; it also offers exchange programs to many of the countries I'm interested in.
Winning a scholarship means different things to different students. What does your scholarship mean to you or why do you feel it is a significant accomplishment?
For me, scholarships mean lessening the burden on my family and increasing my own feeling of independence. In this case especially, it's nice to face a new challenge instead of relying on past transcripts. You almost never get a chance to write about political topics in school, so it's nice to get such positive feedback on your thoughts.
What university do you attend?
The University of Washington, in beautiful Seattle.
Why did you choose that particular school?
UW has extremely strong programs in everything I might want to do (especially bioengineering), and is rated as one of the top public schools in the country. I've also lived in Seattle for the past six years; I love the city, and out-of-state tuition for some other schools is just frighteningly expensive.
Have you been satisfied with your decision thus far?
I'm not sure, honestly. The resources and opportunities are endless, but class sizes are out of control and the lectures haven't been as helpful as I'd imagined. Upperclassman have told me that higher-level classes are much easier than basic ("weed-out") classes, as they have smaller classes and more interesting material. We'll see as the year goes on.
What advice would you give to the class of seniors who are now making decisions about their college careers?
Put serious thought into what you enjoy doing now, and try to choose a school with strong programs in your possible majors. At the same time, don't feel like you have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life now; you have a couple of years to take classes to help you decide.
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