This is one in a series of articles written by students who received scholarships in 2019 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 always knew I wanted to go to North Dakota State University. Both my parents and my three older siblings attended NDSU, so it felt like home already. I absolutely love the campus because it’s very well taken care of and the landscaping is beautiful. When I first got to campus, I felt very intimidated because the campus and student body count is so much larger than at Fergus Falls. However, I embraced the change and I was excited to start a new chapter of my life.
When school started, I was so overwhelmed. I had no idea what to expect from college. I learned very quickly the importance of organizing and planning. I find that using an agenda is the most helpful thing because you can plan out your day, write reminders, and keep track of when assignments are due. In addition to struggling with adjusting to the pace of college, I also struggled adjusting to the new environment. At first, I found it hard to be away from my family. I definitely experienced some homesickness the first night, but luckily several events were planned for students to attend to keep our minds off of it. The first week was pretty crazy because of all the welcome week events, so it was a lot to process the first week. However, the options during that week were very fun and I met some good friends through those activities. Once I had found where all my classes were and organized what I needed for each class, I felt substantially more prepared for what was to come.
Now that I’m getting close to my first college finals week, I can’t believe how fast time has flown! School has kept me quite busy because I usually have at least one test a week. Although the workload is tough, I make sure to create time for myself. I signed up for a Bible study that I go to once a week and I really enjoy the conversations I have with the girls in my group. Since I’m going into nursing, I also joined the NDSU student nursing association (SNA). Every month, SNA has a group meeting where we hear from different speakers and we interact with other nursing students. I have also attended several of the NDSU football games, which I have found very exciting. One thing that I have had to learn to manage is the stress college brings. There are things that I’m constantly worrying about such as tests, getting into the nursing program and finding time to do things with friends. In order to manage my stress, I’ve found that focusing on self-care has really helped me relax. Whether it’s watching a TV episode, going to the gym, doing facemasks, getting coffee with friends or taking a nap, making my mental and physical health needs a priority has helped a lot.
Lastly, I would like to thank the Dollars For Scholars organization and particularly the nieces and nephew of Carroll Crouch for establishing a scholarship in honor of Connie Rostad. I was so honored to receive this scholarship. The Dollars For Scholars organization provides such a wonderful opportunity by investing in students’ futures. By supporting the students, they help them reach their goals of finding their dream jobs. With this much appreciated support, I’m well on my way to becoming a nurse, and I can’t wait to see where my journey takes me.
Julia Kunz is a 2019 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and is currently attending North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. She is the recipient of the Constance Rostad Scholarship. For information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, 601 W. Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537.