Archived Story

Opinion: College is a great experience [UPDATED]

Published 9:28am Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Updated 11:28am Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This another in a series of articles written by students who received scholarships in 2013 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.

First I would once again like to thank Dollars for Scholars and StoneL corporation for the generous scholarship that I received from them.

It is such a wonderful gift for the Fergus Falls community to be able to show such support to so many different students in this area. In one of the largest transitions in life that we have to make, from high school to college, it is very much appreciated to be supported in such a way.

And what a transition college has been. This fall I moved to Minneapolis to attend school at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. As most college freshman probably feel I was both excited and nervous for what college would be like.

This was my first time living away from home and while I missed the comforts of home-cooked food and free laundry, it was a great experience for my first semester at college. Since I am majoring in biomedical engineering the classes were very challenging but also very rewarding, and I learned so much this semester. My largest classes are up to 100 students, which I expected by going to a large university like the U of M-Twin Cities, but through labs, discussion sections, and study groups it has felt much smaller than that.

Most of my teachers are very friendly, too, and I have gotten to know several of them quite well.

When I chose the U of M I did have some hesitation about the size, with 50,000 students at the school. After my first semester, though I have seen that because I live with and go to class with a smaller group of students, in reality the campus feels much smaller in size.

I have learned that in college they say that of your friends, sleep, and schoolwork you only have time for two of these and I have often lived that out by pulling all-day study sessions for midterms and finals that would sometimes mean little sleep and no time for friends.

Beyond my classes college is filled with more opportunities than I have time for, including clubs, intramural leagues, concerts, and the whole Twin Cities area to explore.

As time has allowed I’ve had the opportunity to rock climb, play campus-wide capture the flag, have informal jam sessions with friends, and visit the Guthrie Theater.

I am realizing how full of opportunities college is, and to make the most of this part of my life I am finding out that by taking advantage of them and being involved I can enjoy college life even more.

With college comes the amazing liberty of choice, that basically everything you do, from what your major is to what you want for breakfast, is suddenly all up to you. There is no faster way to grow up then by stepping out the door and stepping up on your own.

Along with all this responsibility I have found that there is an equally large number of resources to take advantage of in college. From counselors to teachers to older students and mentors I would strongly encourage everyone entering college to take advantage of these resources, because on your own it can all become a bit too much to handle at times.

Taking advantage of the resources available has especially made the transition into college much easier for me. Being back home in Fergus Falls for break has been great, a wonderful time to relax and catch up with friends and family, but now I am already looking forward to going back to school, excited for what the next semester of college will bring.


Jaron Olsoe is a 2013 graduate of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy and was the recipient of the Stoneel Corporation Scholarship. He attends the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. 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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