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.
Hello, my name is Greta Christenson and I am attending Ridgewater College in Willmar. Ridgewater has always been a huge interest to me for continuing my education after high school. I knew I wanted to go into a career that would allow me to work with animals. Veterinary technology sounded like the perfect path to take. I wanted to be close to home and there are only so many schools with veterinary technology programs in Minnesota. Ridgewater College is considered the No. 1 community and technical college for career preparedness and it’s also the closest to home for me.
When I saw the college and the campus, I knew this was the right place for me to be. I was nervous adjusting to a new lifestyle away from home, but I met a lot of people coming from all different places in Minnesota and other states as well. They were all there for the same reason I was, and that was to learn and pursue a degree in veterinary technology. I was very excited to make new friends and start my classes in the vet tech program. I was also very excited to start learning how to care for animaIs and it was fun to be with so many others that had the same passion.
College is very different from high school, but I have really enjoyed it so far. The schedules are different from high school but there are also some similarities. Lab classes in the vet tech program are divided into four groups and then everyone in the program is together for the lectures. This way you really get to know the people in your group and can help each other out. I really like my overall schedule. I have breaks in between most of my classes which allows me to take my time and get some studying in as well. Most of the classes for the vet tech program are in the same building, which is especially nice with cold weather days.
Now that I am past the midterm point, I can honestly say that college takes a lot of time and hard work, but it has been very rewarding, and I enjoy the independence. It’s also very exciting to be able to learn and take classes you love, knowing that someday I’ll be working with animals on my own. A tip to any high school students that are looking to pursue college after graduation would be to always use a planner to keep track of all your classes, schedules, assignments and tests.
I also recommend getting involved in the campus activities and the community. At Ridgewater, you can try out for your favorite sport, join numerous different clubs, or get involved in activities like bingo days. I have really enjoyed playing my flute in the Prairie Winds Willmar community band. I wanted to keeping playing my flute after high school and although Ridgewater does not have a college band, I am very thankful I was able to find the community band so I could continue playing.
I am very thankful to be at Ridgewater college and pursuing my passion of working with animals. This program will open so many opportunities for the future. The vet tech program has provided me the chance to grow and learn in my field of study and I am so excited and grateful to be a part of it. I am thankful to the Fergus Falls community, my teachers at Kennedy and also grade school, my family and my friends. These people have all helped shape me into the person that I am today. I would especially like to thank the Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars program and specifically Excel Plastics for providing me with a scholarship that has helped with the financial costs of college so that I can continue my education and pursue a degree in something that I am very passionate about with less financial burdens. I am very excited to see what the future brings.
Greta Christenson is a 2019 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and is currently attending Ridgewater College in Willmar. She is the recipient of the Excel Plastics Vocational Scholarship. For information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, 601 W. Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537.