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 am Tristan Trosvig, and I’m finishing my Associate of Arts degree at M State Fergus Falls this year. After taking PSEO classes during high school, I started my sophomore year at M State Fergus Falls this fall with all but 22 credits completed. My first semester, I’m taking a total of 14 credits. Like most AA students, I dabbled in a bit of everything in terms of subject matter. I’m taking chemistry, sociology, Native American culture and Java programming. My professors are wonderful and I’m really enjoying my classes so far. I’m planning on transferring to MSUM to earn a degree in computer information technology next fall. Academically, things are going very well. My goal is to maintain my GPA while balancing school and work life. I juggle two jobs at the YMCA and UPS while maintaining full-time student status.
Because I decided to stay at M State Fergus Falls, I can continue living at home which allows me to save money for the next leg of my journey. Because my focus is more academic, I haven’t taken the time to join any clubs or sports. However, I enjoy my time on campus and even have my favorite spot to which I retreat to work on homework between classes. The flexibility in scheduling is such a great benefit of college. I have a great schedule and truly appreciate the campus experience.
The first few words of wisdom I would share with future college students is the need to develop a routine and know how to use time wisely. The amount of free time I have decreased dramatically from that in high school to college. While I didn’t partake in senior slide, it seemed I still had plenty of time to spare between work and homework. This semester, however, I’m taking classes that require more time and effort than previous years. One example of this is my five-credit chemistry class, which includes a lab. I took honors chemistry in high school, but chemistry at the college level is a lot more rigorous and in-depth. Thankfully, it is taught by one of my favorite professors, and she does an amazing job. She instills great habits through her teaching, whether it be organization through numbered lab notebooks with appropriate headings or writing memos for a mock scenario where you identify unknown or improperly labeled lab chemicals. All my classes require a tremendous amount of reading. This is the most time-consuming part of my study time.
The second piece of advice I’d have for new college students would be to not be afraid to ask questions of your professors. They are there to help us and are more than willing to do so. It’s so much easier when a student understands what is expected of them. Don’t make assumptions. I can’t begin to thank my instructors enough for being so approachable and helpful to me.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank Fergus Falls Dollars for Scholars and the Robert Block family for making all this possible. I am extremely grateful for the Block family’s generosity in contributing to my education. This has allowed me to focus more on my academics rather than worrying about how I’m going to pay for my classes as quickly as possible. I look forward to giving back in the future just as all the donors have done for the numerous students they have helped.
Tristan Trosvig is a 2019 graduate of Fergus Falls High School and is currently attending M State in Fergus Falls. He is the recipient of the Robert Block Scholarship. For information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, 601 W Randolph Ave., Fergus Falls, MN 56537.