A Letter to First Years

Since it's my fourth year, many faces are familiar on campus, but it's a new year with new peeps. Seeing all these new first year students really makes me think not only about my future plans and goals, but also where I've come from. Starting at DU, I dreamt of obtaining a BS in Biochemistry to later work in the pharmaceutical industry and push for more holistic approaches with greater appreciation for natural 'pharmaceuticals.' However, after my first few classes in Chemistry and Calculus, most days felt like I was falling down a spiral. The challenges were not enjoyable, so I decided to reassess my life goals. After taking Intro to Psychology, it felt right to declare a new major, a BA in Psychology. Now, I'm about to graduate with two degrees– a BS in Psychology and a BA in Spanish– along with minors in Biology and Religious Studies.

During bid week, I definitely was not feeling the sorority vibe and couldn't find time to attend any of the student orgs I signed up for. But then, Fall Quarter, a flyer for HCDU came my way, and I went for it. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go to a meeting for an online women's magazine without any journalism experience or interest– just my passion for writing! Here I am, four years later, co-president of the organization with so many lifelong friends to chat with, vent to, and be there for me when needed. 

My second year at DU, I applied for a program abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica. Before college, I never thought much about traveling abroad due to growing up in a low-income household; however, DU gave me the opportunity to really challenge and push myself outside of my comfort zone. Without that first step of applying, I would've never gained such personal and worldly knowledge that I discovered in Costa Rica. 

I still do not have a certain pathway in comparison to other fourth years who are applying for or already applied to graduate schools. There is no contract for me to enter the workforce once I graduate, but I feel totally fine about that. College has taught me that it's okay to change your plans– it's okay to follow what makes you happy and pursue your passions. My only regret is that I didn't figure this out earlier. So, my advice is to take risks and switch things up when you are no longer feeling content with where you are. Do not be afraid of change and do not be afraid of taking the leap! 

Santillana del Mar by April Vollmer