Drumheller Fountain on UW Seattle Campus

10 Ways to Make the Most of the UW

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10/12/2021 October 2021 Perspectives
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The University of Washington has so much to offer, it can be hard for students to know where to start. We asked ten recent Arts & Sciences alumni for advice on making the most of the UW, and they had plenty of suggestions about academics, campus life, and a productive mindset.

Your Academic Journey

Photo of Anna Sulc holding a penguin.

Explore What Interests You

“Try different things. If a class interests you, take it. It might completely change your life. It might pay off in ways you can’t anticipate. It might not, but it’s worth exploring.”

Anna Sulc // BA, French, BS, Oceanography, 2020

Bo Goodrich headshot

Define Your Own Path

“Your major doesn’t define your career path. I have seen friends stress because they believe they have to get into X major to do X job, but you can leverage many different degrees to get to where you want to be. Don’t fixate on ‘the path.’ Define your own.”

Bo Goodrich // BS, Economics, 2019

Grecia Leal Pardo, who double majored in drama and classics.

Look into Study Abroad

“I studied abroad three times, through month-long UW programs in Rome, Edinburgh, and Tahiti. These experiences have each been so unique and gratifying. They had such an impact not only on my UW career but on my life. Ultimately learning from classrooms in Seattle can’t compare to the experiential learning study abroad provides.”

Grecia Leal Pardo // BA, Drama, Classics, 2019

Your Life Beyond Academics

Elijah Pasco on campus

Join a Club

“The Daily, the Undergraduate Theatre Society, and The Fishwrapper (UW satirical student newspaper) have given me so much outside of academics. Joining a club and working collectively with other students is just such a wonderful experience. And student publications are a great way to explore your own voice.”

Eli Pasco // BA, Linguistics, Drama, 2021

Maya Esquivido portrait

Find Your Community

“As an underrepresented minority on campus, I wish I’d known sooner where the Intellectual House and Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center were located. These are important places for us, and it is a good place to find community.”

Maya Esquivido (Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation) // BA, American Indian Studies, 2019; MSW, 2021

Headshot of Ishira Parikh

Keep an Open Mind

“Explore any opportunity you may be remotely interested in. I participated in research, joined a photography travel magazine, helped write for a neuroscience journal, and did a lot of other things I never expected to be doing. It’s important to keep an open mind about trying new things.”

Ishira Parikh // BS, Biology, BA, Disability Studies, 2021

Your Mindset

Christine Lew with foliage behind her.

Don't Underestimate Yourself

“Coming into UW can be terrifying because it is ginormous. There are so many students and they all seem like they have their stuff together. But don't underestimate yourself. Apply for everything you are interested in, because you are probably way more qualified than you think you are in every single instance.”

Christine Lew // BA, Psychology, Disability Studies, 2021

Maria Bogomolova on campus

Ask Questions, Make Mistakes

“As a student from another country, I would recommend to throw yourself out there and try new things. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, because that's part of the educational process. Don't be afraid to ask questions, because questions create more connections. And try to have more conversations with your professors. They're amazing people.”

Maria Bogomolova // BA, Classics, 2021

DiShawnn Newell on UW's Red Square

Enjoy the Now

“The UW is challenging academically, so stay focused and understand your priorities, but at the same time, don’t make the challenges bigger than what they are. Know that you can do it, and enjoy the now.”

DiShawnn Newell // BA, Psychology, BS, Neurobiology, 2020

Headshot of Arwa Mokdad

Talk to Everyone

“It’s worth it to always put yourself out there and talk to everyone. My first quarter, I introduced myself to the person next to me in a large class and that person ended up becoming one of my best friends.”

Arwa Mokdad // BA, International Studies, 2021

Want to learn more?

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