Olive T

Olive T

Macalester College

B.A. in Neuroscience

What has been the biggest overall lesson that going to college has taught you?

It's important to take the time to learn more about yourself, how you think, how you learn, and especially how you interact with others. College definitely exposed me to a variety of people and opinions and I found a way to listen to everything and learn from it.

What did you learn about yourself?

Going into college, I thought I had already figured out what I wanted to do with my life and college taught me that there is so much I don't know about the world around me but also just about myself. I learned that I have a curious mind that likes to put pieces together from a scientific perspective. It's weird to think about that because before college, I was more focused on application rather than comprehension.

Rate your experience
at college:
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2020 & 2021 were extremely challenging under the confinement and constant menace of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hopefully there were some silver lining and lessons learned.
Tell us about the highlights or accomplishments of this academic year 2020/21, in spite of all!

Despite every single obstacle that 2020 and 2021 had, I found myself feeling hopeful at times because of the people that surrounded and supported me. Even though I hated zoom classes, I found a way to stay engaged and have the best academic semesters since beginning college and I'm really proud of that.

Thinking of the whole 4 years, what were the greatest challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?

One of my greatest challenges was transitioning. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be being on my own in a different state without anyone that knew me. I had a very difficult time asking for help in the beginning and opening up to people around me. Over time, I adapted and began to ask for help from those that I knew could help me such as my friends and professors.

What were your proudest accomplishments or highlights from attending college?

Study abroad, four years of varsity softball, chemistry teaching award, relationships formed with professors and peers

If you could go back in time 4 years ago, what would you tell your 18 year old self? If you could do-over, what would you do differently?

I would tell my 18 year old self that everything happens for a reason and it's ok to not know everything right from the start. The point of college is to continue growing as a student but also as a person and it's ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and remain open to new possibilities.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?

Stay open-minded. The college experience is unique for everyone and you just have to remain open to the challenges and obstacles that may come your way but know that there are people supporting you near and far that only want to see you succeed.

Now that you have graduated, have you formulated any new short term / long term goals?

I am applying to graduate school in Biomedical Science, with an interest in Neurology.

How did being a Bella Scholar contribute to the success of achieving your goals?

Being a Bella Scholar helped me find ways to de-stress and methods of studying through the many workshops that I attended.