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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star


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Students reflect on a semester of treasured memories and lessons learned

Illustration by Devon Crew

Bobcats far and wide are excited to say goodbye to assignment deadlines and 8:00 a.m. classes, and hello to a well-deserved break full of unwinding and recharging in the coming weeks. With the holidays approaching, there is much to be said about student achievement, where there’s room for improvement and what students can guess lies ahead.

For some, life in San Marcos is a foreign and fresh experience. First year students wrapping up the term are realizing the educational independence that comes with higher level schooling, allowing them to branch out and do well in what they desire to learn.

“AP classes are not like college at all,” Maren Werner, a communication studies freshman, said. “I feel like I’m finally back on my academic journey. I went to a challenging high school where I felt defeated all of the time. Here at Texas State, I’ve come back with all A’s and [I am] doing a lot better, I think it’s because of having the choice of what I get to study.”

New students also find themselves engaged with campus life, crediting passionate instructors and classmates. The excitement to discuss and collaborate on certain projects makes a world of a difference, specifically for Werner, who looks forward to studying communication skills.

“Fundamentals of Communication with Hannah Collazo, I get to class happy to be there because she’s so upbeat and ready to discuss,” Werner said. “She talks about how much she loves teaching this class, how she loves our section and how happy she is starting her day with us. It just [makes] me feel really connected to the professor and what I’m learning.”

As other Bobcats navigate more advanced classes and new living conditions while moving forward in school, there’s an entirely new wave of personal growth. Transitioning from dorm to apartment after a few semesters proves to be an adjustment and learning curve.

“Having your own space, a little safe haven from everything, does beat sharing one in a dorm,” Valeria Arellano, a health science sophomore, said. “I love being able to come home and be like, ‘Where’s [my roommate]?’ I love our old married couple moments and it’s been super sweet knowing if anything goes wrong I have her right here.”

This environment change has proven to bring an even greater need for time management and prioritization. For many second year students and beyond, this semester off-campus has become a lesson in maintaining focus on furthering one’s degree.

“[For me it’s] more than anything just realizing that yes, everybody is here to enjoy the college lifestyle and experience, but at the end of the day you have to make sure you’re devoting most of your time to school,” Arellano said.

The end of fall term even marks the closing of a chapter for many, as December graduates take their last exams, finish final research projects and delve into the professional world. Winter break serves as a transition between savoring university lifestyle and looking forward to new opportunities.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with my family, eating good food and just taking a mental break,” Lauren Martinez, a graduate student in business administration, said. “Next year I should be getting a new job, hopefully that’s going to be a job I’m passionate about and fulfills me. Hopefully it looks like lots of money, a new start and a fun, creative environment.

Students approaching graduation are relieved to submit their final Canvas assignments and are now making room to pleasantly reflect on experiences they’ve collected at Texas State. Unique opportunities such as studying abroad and getting hands-on experience was an unforgettable moment of closing semesters.

Martinez had a large workload throughout her final semester, so her 10-day business venture in Buenos Aires, Argentina was an engaging and unforgettable moment in her studies. The opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of business models from an international perspective, and even getting a taste of other cultures, are her stronger reasons for taking a chance on studying abroad.

“Being able to meet our clients in person, in Argentina, and collaborate with them was a great achievement, it was so much fun,” Martinez said. “We got to visit about a dozen businesses in Argentina and we got to ask questions about their business…we also got to experience the Argentinian lifestyle by going to famous attractions, eating their foods, really understanding what it’s like to live and do business in Argentina.”

Despite all of the different journeys and lessons among our campus, there’s one hope for all those anticipating the holiday break: total relaxation.

“Right now for me it’s basically just school, work, and extracurriculars all of the time,” Arellano said. “I’m looking forward to just staying home, eating, and potentially being a couch potato.”

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