April is a month of terror for high school seniors. For those reading who have blocked out the memory of their experience, many high schoolers have just received decisions from colleges and must spend the rest of the month deliberating on where they plan to spend the next four years of their life. This is scary, especially when the kids have no real perspective on what their options are. Therefore, for past, present, and future University of Connecticut students, it is good to affirm why this university lives up to the reputation it has.
UConn is a big school, with almost 20,000 undergraduates studying in Storrs and an additional 4,000 around the state. This may seem like an intimidating figure, but the benefits of larger schools are not to be understated. More students means more opportunities, both for fun and work.
These opportunities take many forms. There are hundreds of clubs to get involved with for any interest. Faculty and researchers are looking into problems in almost any discipline at any given time. The classes available to students range from Jewish humor to turfgrass management. And these are just personal options. At UConn, students also have the opportunity to meet, befriend, and work with students from all different identities, interests and majors. The diversity of people and choice at UConn cannot be emphasized enough.
For some, UConn’s status as a public institution is something to be looked down upon, as if we should be pitying the students not paying $50,000 for a semester of school. In truth, though, being a public university actually allows for students to achieve more in many cases.
Even undergraduates are able to work closely with Connecticut, both with its politicians directly and through initiatives like the computer science department’s VoTeR Center. Additionally, UConn’s status in the state attracts many companies and entities. This helps its programs - like the premier actuarial science major sponsored by the state’s insurance agencies - and its options for students in terms of internships and work.
This is but a taste of everything that UConn has to offer. It is always astonishing how UConn is able to cast such a wide net yet still work so thoroughly in each avenue. The breadth and depth of opportunity at the institution, much coming from the state itself, cannot be ignored. This reminder goes to both those considering UConn and those currently enrolled: at UConn, the world is there for you to seize. The only thing left to do is reach out.