College is a blast [UPDATED]Published 10:04am Wednesday, January 2, 2013 Updated 12:06pm Wednesday, January 2, 2013
This is another in a series of articles written by students who received scholarships in 2012 awarded through the Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars chapter. The purpose of these articles is to thank the community for its support of students and their higher education goals.
Hi, my name is Andrew Eerdmans, and I am a freshman attending the University of North Dakota. I am pursuing a degree in chemical engineering and having a blast doing it.
I would like to give a heartfelt and thankful shout out to StoneL Corp., and Dollars for Scholars for helping me pursue my college education and for giving me some financial peace of mind.
I am having an awesome, fun, and yet stressful time.
At college I am focused on the future, seeking a career, and taking every opportunity I can get.
The biggest new challenge about college was making new friends.
At UND, I am happy to say it was quite easy to make friends because of the abundance of college groups, music ensembles, and personal-sized classes. I am having a great time being involved in student organizations including a running club, chemical engineers organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, Engineers Without Borders, and even a cricket club.
My involvement in cello ensemble, piano studio, and piano lessons kept me sane when math and science became frustrating.
I love that at UND I can still be involved in music and grow in areas of my life other than my career.
Also, I was a little worried about finding a new church, but I found one and have made many new friends there too.
I was never really worried about class size at UND, which is about the same size as NDSU at 14,000 students in attendance. Surprisingly, more than half of the students seem to be from Minnesota. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how personal my university experience has been so far. My biggest class was about 30 students and my smallest was 12 students.
Also, all of my professors knew me on a first name basis, which blew my mind.
I was not expecting that. These small classes allowed me to get to know many of my fellow students who later became my friends.
My favorite teacher was a Russian chemistry teacher who cleaned up at Chernobyl.
Another thing I love about college is that people are willing to speak their minds with civility. In high school, I was way too timid when it came to debate or conversation.
In my American government class, group discussion was the main component. Since it was during the election, that class was more entertaining than a blockbuster thriller.
I really would like to encourage every college student, Daily Journal reader, and Fergus Falls resident to get out and volunteer. Before college, most of my volunteering was done at Lake Region Hospital and at my church, but in college my focus has been in classrooms at Red River High school where other UND students and I tutor refugees and English Language Learners from around the world with their class work.
I look forward to my walk over to Red River High School every week. On another international note, I love going to international culture nights every Thursday when a different ethnic group showcases their culture, food, dance, and customs to big audiences of students and faculty. Nepal night was by far the best.
One last thing, I guess college food before 1990 had to be awful because all the old stories I heard about terrible college food proved to be untrue. It is really good, nothing like home cooking, but surprisingly good.
A final note, no Grand Forks is not the frozen tundra all year long. Yes, we are the Home of the Fighting Who?. Yes, I room with my twin brother. And yes, my first semester at UND has been fantastically awesome.
Andrew Eermans is a 2012 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and was the recipient of the StoneL Scholarship. He attends UND in Grand Forks. For more information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Dollars for Scholars, 601 W Randolph Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.