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Carlyn Arteaga ’19


Name: Carlyn Arteaga

Major: Social Relations and Policy and Arabic

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Spring Lake, Michigan


As a freshman at MSU what has been something that has surprised you? How quickly you build a network at MSU and what a small world it is. More often than not, when I meet someone new, we’re able to identify some sort of connection. The “six degrees of separation” theory that everyone is six or fewer steps away from every other person in the world feels true.  

What has been the hardest thing to adjust to? I am on the Cross Country and Track teams, and varsity sports in college are a lot bigger commitment than sports in high school. I am at Jenison for at least three hours every day. In high school, I did everything and was still an athlete, but in college, I’ve had to pick and choose what I can do in addition to academics and athletics because both are more time consuming than they were in high school. I also got injured for the first time during the fall, something I never experienced in high school. To go from 45 miles a week, to not being able to walk, is a hard change, but I’m coming back stronger now.

What are some of the things you are involved in? As previously mentioned, I am a student-athlete. I also volunteer at the Refugee Development Center in Lansing in English Second Language classes, and I am a member of a group applying to be an official club, Students Organize for Syria. Our current campaign is called, “Books Not Bombs”. As part of a national movement, we’re petitioning our school specifically to provide scholarships for Syrian students who are unable to safely finish their education in Syria. Sign the petition; it only takes 5 seconds, and they won’t spam you after. We’re currently beating the other schools!

What is your favorite memory you’ve had so far at MSU? This is cheesy, but my roommate Emily and I happened to have orientation together this summer by accident. We didn’t know each other before, so it was our first time meeting. That night, we sung karaoke to “The Start of Something New”. We’re rooming together again next year. I feel so lucky to have ended up with such a great roommate, and I think we started our friendship in the most perfect way possible.

What is it like being a student athlete at a Big Ten university? Honestly, I don’t feel that different or special from other students most of the time. Then we get a gift for going to nationals, I see a football player in the Smith Center or I have a competition, and I am reminded how lucky I am. I do lead a slightly different lifestyle than most students because of it. I have a lot less flexibility and have to be more responsible with my time and body. I go to bed earlier than most people, but when all of your friends go to bed at 10:30 on Friday to wake up for a long run on Saturday morning too, you feel normal.

What is something that you want to get involved in at Michigan State? I try to go to at least one event/guest lecture/etc. a week, but I wish I made it to more events at the Wharton Center. The only thing I have been to this year is “The Second City”. They were hilarious, and it’s probably one of my favorite events that I have been to this year.

If you could go back to August on move-in day and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? Friendship takes time. You’re not going to instantly be as close with your new college friends as you were with your high school friends, but close friendships will happen naturally if you give them time and effort.

My name is Shelby, I am an Advertising major pursuing minors in both PR and Graphic Design. I love being around people and experiencing new cultures, ideas, and beliefs. Some of my best memories here at MSU are spent with my best friends. My all time favorite quote is Maya Angelou's "I've learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
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