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STUDENT PROFILE

Victoria Ekstrand

Major:
Nursing
Graduation Year:
December 2017
"I would advise anyone that changes their minds on what they want to study in school or what career they want to strive for that they absolutely can! Life is short, make the most of your time. However, you must be prepared for the extra work that changing paths often takes."

What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
The most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Learning Center in the Peer-Led Undergraduate Study program as a peer coordinator (PC) is the inspiring group of other PCs, facilitators, and students I get to spend time with and learn with. My team of facilitators is motivated, friendly, and has the same passion I do for collaborative learning. Being a part of PLUS and being a leader in this role has allowed me to appreciate so many of my counterparts in this program and ignited my passion for collaborative learning further.

What has been the most surprising aspect of your job?
The most surprising aspect of my job has been how much fun I have with it! I knew I would enjoy and learn from being a PC, but I actually love every meeting I hold and I have fun creating the agendas for the PLUS sessions. Despite being a nursing major, I have a strong passion for education and working with my fellow students. This job has allowed me time for both, and that is a gift. When you enjoy your work, it no longer feels like work!

Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
I was really nervous about the first weekly planning meeting I held with the professor of the class that I am a PC for (PHM 338- pharmacology) and my team of 9 facilitators. However, the facilitators came to the meeting ready to go with pre-planned questions on material, requesting clarification on the agenda for the upcoming sessions, and with incredibly positive attitudes. They prepared so far beyond what I asked them to do and it made me know the semester was going to be amazing!

What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
The biggest myth I can think of is that you can get away cramming the night before a big test with hopes, dreams, and a lot of caffeine. This may work for a very few number of students, but the grand majority of us need rest and adequate preparation for success in classes. A little bit of studying each day goes a lot further than pulling an all-nighter and being exhausted during your exam. Pace yourselves, keep up with the work, relax a little every night before bed, and get adequate sleep the night before a big exam. Make the most of your opportunities for good grades in college and keep yourself healthy!

Tell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in the same situation?
When I got to UT, I decided to change my major from biology to nursing. I knew it would be very challenging to transfer into the UT School of Nursing. I was very nervous and doubted my abilities to accomplish this task. However, I met with advisors, planned my classes, and studied really hard in all of my pre-requisite courses. I also did my best to acquire medical experience. When I found out I got in, I was so relieved that my years of hard work had paid off. I would advise anyone that changes their minds on what they want to study in school or what career they want to strive for that they absolutely can! Life is short so make the most of your time. However, you must be prepared for the extra work that changing paths often takes. I believe with hard work and passion, anyone can achieve any goal they set their minds to. College is a time of learning about yourself and your passions. Therefore, it is totally acceptable to change your mind! Just be responsible and take the steps you need to achieve happiness and satisfaction in your life.