Archived Story

Think about college early, keep options open [UPDATED]

Published 9:46am Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Updated 11:49am Wednesday, January 9, 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.


I would like to thank Dollars for Scholars and the Cowles’ for this opportunity to write about what their gift has provided me with this last semester.

High schools try to push this point and it’s very important. Start thinking about college early. This step will make decisions down the road much more simple and helpful.

I have to give a big thank you to Mr. Holicky and the classes I took from him in high school. They certainly helped me with the transition from high school to college in the areas of studying and work load. I’d like to thank Fergus Falls Public Schools for my exceptional education and for the activities that brought so much joy and accomplishment to my family’s life.

If I had to give one piece of advice to high school juniors and seniors is to keep your options open. Find the opportunities and make use of them. This advice has been critical to my first semester success in college.

I began college as a Chemical Engineering major. Chemical engineering has a many opportunities to help people through medicine and other fields. Besides my major, the classes I took were Intro to the Humanities (through the UND Honors Program), Advanced Chemistry, Calculus I, Earth Dynamics, and UND Chamber Orchestra. The hardest class I took was Advanced Chemistry taught by Dr. Evguenii Kozliak. All my classes were less than forty people and student-professor interaction was great.

Each of my professors got to know me and each professor taught very well. My situation was not an isolated case. Many of my classmates also had fantastic instruction.

College is important to make networks of friends and peers. The student organizations I joined were the UND Honors Program, Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Red River High School English as a Learned Language tutoring program (ELL).

I also had a phenomenal time in the dorms with students from across the United States. Another important part of UND is its brand new Wellness Center, which has anything a cross country runner like me, a weight lifter, a zumba dancer, a chef, or a meditation guru needs.

Introduction classes in college are not so different than upper level courses taught at the High school level. However, I found out it’s important to start with the right work ethic in order not to get behind in class (Which is very easy to do with so much going on!).

Advanced Chemistry was an exception to this, but my professor truly loved teaching and had weekly review sessions and would accommodate office hours at any time to help a student.

Even though I did very well, I knew during the semester Chemistry was not for me. As with many freshmen college students, I changed my major to Petroleum Engineering. My Earth Dynamics class made me realize I love earth processes.

Strange, I know, but I really enjoy it. I researched future classes and had many sessions with my advisor. He had previously worked for BP for over sixteen years and in the industry for over thirty years.

Besides classes, my social life was really fun. The first thing I did in Grand Forks was I found a church and a Christian organization on campus. Through Hope Church and Cru I made amazing friends, I found a support group, and my faith has grown by leaps and bounds in the college environment. My residence hall’s activities were really fun and made a community within the hall. I am excited to see what further opportunities UND has to offer.


William Eerdmans is a 2012 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and was the recipient of the Cowles Menorial 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.

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