Rachael Swanson, '21

Name: Rachael Swanson

Year: Freshman

Major: Horticulture

Hometown: South Lyon, Michigan

Why did you choose horticulture as your major?

Honestly, it was kind of a gut feeling. I chose MSU because of a feeling I got at an informational session. I chose the college of agriculture and natural resources on a feeling, and then in the intro class I got a gut feeling to choose horticulture. Sounds professional, I know.

What is horticulture? Do you enjoy it?

So it’s the study, cultivation and art of plants for aesthetic, consumption, and use of humanity. I’m a firm believer that if you are going to spend thousands of dollars to attend a university, you should do it doing something you love -- as I do.

What do you like most about MSU?

I like the fact that there’s so many different kinds of people and so many opportunities to meet others without being overwhelmed by them.I know there’s several thousand people here, but it’s hard for it to feel that way walking around my dorm room and around campus. Honestly it only ever feels crowded when I’m trying to cross Farm Lane in the middle of the day and there’s traffic.

What do you do to keep busy?

I joined the fencing club, for one. I also joined a horticulture club that has lots of activities on the weekend and gives me lots of career opportunities. Otherwise during the week I’m kept pretty busy with my studies.

What's the fencing club like?

Well, the first thing you notice is signs that say ‘Come stab your friends,’ so of course I was amused and attracted to the activity. But as soon as you enter the gym you see a lot of faces behind masks enthusiastic to get you into gear and to start stabbing. It’s a very open environment as well as being an activity that’s tough and keeps you on your toes. I really enjoy something that takes that kind of exuberance and gives you a full-body workout. To be honest, it’s also a great conversation starter.