As the Flagship Institution here in the Commonwealth, I was always set on the University of Kentucky. From an early age I cheered on the likes of Jeff Sheppard, Jamal Mashburn and Tony Delk, with my love of UK Basketball overflowing into a passion for the University of Kentucky. After my first campus tour I was drawn to the city of Lexington; with the scenery, green grass, beautiful buildings and friendly people. I applied as soon as possible and received a letter securing my spot as a freshman in the Fall of 2009 here at UK. Upon arrival I was unsure of what major I would pursue, still debating what career path I truly desired. With this doubt in mind, I began my journey in Undergraduate Studies. As a student in Undergraduate Studies, I was given an opportunity I am so thankful for, and that opportunity was exploration. Through meeting with my advisor and forming a personal relationship with him we composed a schedule that would allow me to take classes I had a specific interest in while completing general education requirements that were necessary to graduate. As a semester passed we discussed my interest in current courses, potential courses, and how successful the first few months of school had been. This exploration was key to the self-discovery of my career that I am actively pursuing today.
My advisor gave guidance I could find at no other college, carefully selecting courses he knew I had an interest in, that would at the same time complete graduation requirements, and serve as a course I would be successful in. Through the first two semesters of college I traveled from a point of confusion and uncertainty to a place of confidence and joy. I took my sophomore year of college to decide between three majors that had stuck out to me through my coursework and interests myself and my advisor had worked through. After the first semester of sophomore year, I was comfortable and successful in the classes I was taking, while on track with all of my graduation requirements. After two full years as a student in Undergraduate Studies, I have now chosen a major that is of extreme interest to me, in a field where success is unlimited. My advisor did so much more for me than schedule classes. Mr. Hayes worked to suggest a selection of classes I would enjoy and be able to discover if any majors I showed interest in were the right or wrong choice. Even on top of coursework, Mr. Hayes went beyond the walls of UK and sought a list of potential careers I could wind up in after graduation. Undergraduate studies freed me from the chains of doubt while assisting me with the most important decision of my life. I could not have done it alone, but thanks to the relentless support from Undergraduate Studies, I am now a Natural Resource and Environmental Science major, working in the field of my dreams with unlimited potential and thousands of opportunities.
I have always believed if you do what you want, you'll never work a day in your life. I was completely undecided when I came to UK as a freshman. Was I going to be in International Studies, Vocal Music, Nutrition & Food Science, or one of the millions of other opportunities at UK? Double major, minor, both, neither; honestly, I had no clue. That's why I began my college experience in Undergraduate Studies. With the exemplary help and a little motivational nudge from my advisor in US, I was able to find something in which I feel an immense amount of passion and pleasure: the Spanish language and culture.
Incoming freshmen should never feel the pressure to commit to a major. You're in your late teens and you have years before it's going to come down to decision time. If you're unsure, go to those who can help you the most in Undergraduate Studies and work out your indecisiveness as I did. And if you ever have any questions: Ask Zach!
Kathryn has participated in Dance Blue and Intramural Football; she is also an Undergraduate Studies Student Ambassador and member of the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society.
I knew since high school that I wanted to come to UK. This was my first and only choice. I visited other colleges in Kentucky and none of them felt like home as UK did. I also applied for the William C. Parker scholarship and was awarded the amount of $12,500 for four years.
My experience here at UK has been very enlightening. I have made so many friends and been involved around campus. I believe that this is an once-in-a-lifetime experience and everyday is a new day to have fun and learn something new. My freshman year, I was in the Mr. & Mrs. Black UK pageant and a member of the Black Student Union and CARES. My sophomore year, I became an Ambassador for Undergraduate Studies after declaring my major in Psychology and became a member of UK's chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I also participated in a panel to help make the transition to college easier for first generation students. This semester I was hired as a Resident Advisor in Patterson Hall.
Out of fear of staying in college for more than four years, I chose careers that sounded the most interesting and something that I knew allow me to make a lot of money. When I first came to UK, I wanted to major either in architecture or mechanical engineering. I later learned that I really did not like those majors and decided to stay undecided. After spending some time talking to Danita about different majors and different career fields, I began to carefully exam the various fields of study that UK offers. I would meet with Danita at least three or four times a semester to discuss my journey into picking the right major. We looked at different major sheets, talked about what jobs are related to different majors, and some ways of narrowing my choices of which major I would like to pick. After almost two semesters of talking with Danita and career testing I decided that I would major in Psychology and am still deciding on double major in Sociology. Undergraduate Studies really helped me in declaring a major and helped me realize that it is ok to enter college without know exactly what you want to major in.
After graduating from UK, I plan on attending Graduate School in School Psychology and want to become a school psychologist and help children who have problems learning, improve teaching methods so that children can comprehend material easier, and help children who have problems in their lives that prevent them from learning.
Don't feel pressured to pick a major as soon as possible. The advisors in Undergraduate Studies are more than happy to help you with that process. Choose a major that truly makes you happy and not the major that guarantees the most money (this is when you really want to become friends with your advisor). Also, make as many friends as possible and never be afraid to make your mark on UK's campus. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you should have fun.
Coming from Ohio, many assume you will follow in the footsteps of your fellow classmates and head to Columbus to become a Buckeye. However, I wanted the complete opposite. I wanted a place where I could create a life for myself and branch out from everything I was accustomed to. From the moment I stepped on the UK campus, I noticed there was something special about the atmosphere, something different than any other college campus. Lexington especially caught my attention with the title of the “horse capital of the world”. UK quickly became a place where I immediately called home and it sure does get in your blood and turn it “blue”. I began in Undergraduate Studies because I did not know what direction I wanted to go into. I met Danita Turpin at my advising conference the summer before I began at UK. She was particularly helpful with choosing classes that would interest me and gave me a variety of classes that may spark my interest. I met with her before scheduling my spring semester classes and was really unsure whether I wanted to go into the business school or communications. Danita helped me select classes in both areas to fill the credit hours for the semester. After my spring semester at UK, I knew communications was the path I wanted to pursue. I cannot thank Danita for the numerous times I met with her in her office, called her on the phone, and sent her frantic e-mails. She is an incredible asset to the Undergraduate Studies program. I would advise future students to take advantage of meeting with your advisors. They are there to help you and genuinely want to help you succeed. Enroll in classes that spark your interest in a variety of areas in order to be able to pick a major that you can see yourself enjoying.
UK had always been my dream school. I knew that is where I wanted to go without a doubt. Once I went on my tour of the campus, it reassured me of that. At the beginning of my first semester at UK I met my advisor Lesli Hall and she showed a sudden interest in me. Mrs. Hall let me know she was there if I ever needed anything. Throughout that semester and my first year altogether Mrs. Hall and I worked together closely to look into all my options and interests. When I found Communication Sciences and Disorders I knew it was what I wanted to do. It was then that Mrs. Hall helped me sort out a plan and path to take to get to my dream major. She really was there every step of the way to provide options, support, and direction. Without her and Undergraduate studies, I wouldn't have taken the time to look into majors of all different kinds and most likely would have rushed into a major that I was not truly passionate about. So for that I would like to thank Mrs. Hall and the Undergraduate Studies Department.
Advice for future Undergraduate Studies Students? Do not rush into picking a major and take a variety of classes to explore all of your options. Also, communicate with your advisor anytime you have a question. They really want to be there to help and guide you.