You transferred to OHIO. How was that process?
The transfer process was very easy; everyone in the Admissions office was willing to contact me in any form—e-mail, phone call—and they got back to me very quickly. They were all really nice. I got all of my credits transferred except for a few. I picked up the double major, went abroad, and I'm still going to graduate on time.
How did you find your community of friends?
The community I've made is in the Club Tennis team. We come from all different backgrounds but we all have tennis in common. I feel like you can find that with most any interest on campus. Something that you're passionate about or something that you enjoy, surely there's a group on campus or surely there are a group of people who enjoy it and you can even start it. Everything from sports to the knitting club to chess or the newspaper, you network more and get to know people on campus who get to help you later on. It introduces you to people you wouldn't have met through classes or the dining hall.
You studied abroad in Spain. How was that experience?
The best experience you can get in college, I think, is to open your eyes up to a different culture, a different way of life. You're forced out of your comfort zone and it forces you to grow as a person. You discover yourself when you go abroad. When you're kind of vulnerable like that and you make connections, those are lasting ones. My host family and I are really close. It's not only a networking thing where you know people in another country; just the life experience you gain is irreplaceable. Spain was the time of my life, hands down.
Who is your favorite professor and why?
Amado Lascar. He taught Latin American civilization, but the class was much more content based, so we did a lot of very intense reading and talked about overarching philosophical themes. It was so hard. He would force us to get into these very deep subjects in Spanish. This is the class where I learned the most; it taught me how to critically think about what I was taking away from the class. He's really intelligent and he had a lot to say and he listened also. If you shared an idea, especially if it was different than his, he asked you to elaborate. He said, "You guys are university students. If you're not thinking, who is? You're the thinkers of the country."
The atmosphere in Athens is unlike any other in Ohio. It's a happy blend of different cultures and ideas.
And you’ve found a good way to give back to Athens. How?
The adaptive tennis clinic hosts participants with physical disabilities. The clinic—the club tennis community service chair and myself started this year—is an outreach program to the Athens community and the surrounding towns. It gets people with special needs to come in and we teach them the fundamentals of tennis and it's just a great time. We use low compression tennis balls. They bounce higher and longer and use hula hoops as targets. It's a lot of fun. We do many games that are easy for everyone of all levels. So it's a great way to get involved with the community.
“The best experience you can get in college, I think, is to open your eyes up to a different culture, a different way of life. You're forced out of your comfort zone and it forces you to grow as a person. You discover yourself when you go abroad.”