Aside from earning a degree from a prestigious university, why did you choose to attend Notre Dame, and (in addition to a solid grade point average) what would you like to accomplish during your first year?
"I chose to attend Notre Dame because it is a place that is very close to me. Both of my parents are alumni and they have taken me to the campus every year for a long time. I guess I just feel comfortable here. It is also a place that I hope will provide opportunities for personal development and learning. I was particularly interested in Notre Dame's Environmental Geosciences program, which deals specifically with natural disaster mitigation. However I am still not wholly set on any one area of study yet.
I was also attracted to the undeclared first-year, which will at least provide me with more options beyond my first year. Speaking of the first year I want to achieve success and a deep understanding in all my courses. I would also like to decide on at least one goal for my post-university future. Whether this concerns my career or my major, I want to at least begin to think about where I'm going."
What areas of study or possible majors are you considering? How did you develop these interests and what is it about these areas of study you find compelling? What influenced your present ideas about possible majors?
"For the last few months I have been considering a major in Earth/Environmental Science as part of the College of Engineering. I am particularly interested in natural disaster research and developments for future mitigation. I also have an interest in the natural world (such as ecology, biology, zoology, geology, geography) which has come from my readings of National Geographic. Overall I feel somewhat undecided about my major only because I am still unsure of my plans after university."
What skills do you hope to begin developing through your First Year courses and experiences (written and oral communication skills, leadership skills, research skills, analytical skills, cultural competency skills, etc.)? How will these skills help you prepare for your future?
"For the most part, I feel like many of my skills are developing on their own. For example, being a part of drama productions has helped to develop in areas of oral communication and public speaking.However, one skill that I feel needs developing would be in leadership. In high school I was a part of so many clubs and activites that I had no time to really commit my self to one thing. I was always trying to maintain a balance. Now that I am in university I feel like I am ready start truly developing my skills as a leader. I hope that one of the clubs I join will give me that opportunity, but I will also get the chance to lead in group projects and research assignments. I also feel that leadership will be a skill necessary for my future career."
What are your areas of concern? What skills might you need assistance in strengthening during your first year? For example, are you a little concerned about your time-management skills or background in mathematics or essay writing?
"If I am concerned about one thing, it would be time management. I know this is pretty general, so allow me to explain. Even though I like to be involved in a lot of in-campus activities, I am able to get all of my assingned work done on time. Problems arise when I start to lose time that should be devoted to sleep, exercise, studying, reading or sketching. When I lose this balance I tend to get sick or fall behind when it comes to tests. Overall, I want to make sure that I overcome these problems if they come up and dedvlop my ability to make productive use of my time."
In what ways would you particularly like to take advantage of ND outside of the classroom (have one-to-one conversations with your professors; go to the Snite Museum of Art or see a performance at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center; attend an ND Ignite event; have a significant conversation with someone from a different background than your own; become involved in clubs or other activities or volunteer work; etc.)? See the Dean's A-List.
"Primarily, I would like to get involved and stay involved in as many extra-curricular activiites as I can. In high school I signed up for a lot of things just to try them out. In university I would like to do the same. In my freshman year particularly, I want to try a breadth of clubs ranging from dramatic productions to international service. Currently, I am involved in the World Hunger Coalition, the Farley Hall Players, WVFI, Engineers Without Borders, ASCE, and Enactus, to name a few. I have a lot of interests and talents that I want to continue to develop in university. I also think that learning outside of lectures and labs is important. I would love to attend ND Ignite events or sit in on some extra lectures."