When you walk through UConn, you pass thousands of your peers, each with their own story, interests and experiences. But due to our busy, semi-introverted lives, chances are you’ll almost never slow down enough to find out the stories of those around you. Here is an introduction to three of your classmates—Eva Quigley, Devanshi Thakkar and Jocelyn Bohlman—whom you may have passed or even sat next to countless times without realizing it.
Quigley is a second-semester animal science major from New Milford. She’s involved in the UConn Marching Band as a trumpeter and is a member of the Innovation House learning community. Next year, she will be a Werth Innovator and on the learning community council. For those who don’t know what a Werth Innovator is, Quigley explained it is a competitive scholarship in which the recipients partake in mentoring and entrepreneurship.
Like Quigley, Thakkar, a sixth-semester finance major from Trumbull, and Bohlman, a second-semester management and engineering for manufacturing major from Farmington, are both incredibly involved around UConn. Thakkar is the senator for the School of Business in UConn Student Government, as well as the CFO of Asha for Education and a member the Finance Society. And Bohlman is in the Management and Engineering for Manufacturing Society, Engineering Ambassadors and Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls.
All three students were eager to reflect on their best moments in college so far. For Quigley, her best moment was a chance at an amazing opportunity outside of UConn.
“I got an internship (with a veterinarian) this summer in Israel, so that was probably the most excited thing that happened to me,” Quigley said.
For Thakkar, her best moment had to do with her involvement in clubs, such as a gala Asha for Education threw.
“It was really nice to see people come out, and I’m really close to everyone on the board, so it was a nice one night to hang out with them,” Thakkar said.
For Bohlman, her best moment was a chance to meet new people.
“The best moment was probably today when I played the mud volleyball, Oozeball,” Bohlman said. “We lost the first round but it was still really fun just because I got to meet a lot of new people on the other teams and interact with a lot of different people.”
They were also happy to laugh at the weirdest moments they’ve had so far at UConn, all of which had to do with the strange people such a large university acquires. Quigley interacted with such people on the streets.
“I guess the weirdest thing would just be—sometimes there’s people on Fairfield Way that will just hand you those weird things like the Bibles and stuff—it’s kind of funny,” Quigley said.
Thakkar witnessed such people in the classroom.
“I was in the middle of an exam once, and it was so hard that a kid fainted, then they had everyone come in, the exam was cut halfway through, (and) we had to retake it, but I just think it was really weird how it was cut,” Thakkar said.
And Bohlman met such a person in the gym.
“One time I was at the gym, and this guy just started splitting in front of my mat,” Bohlman said. “I thought that was pretty weird.”
The three are all talented in their own ways as well, with Quigley’s amazing positivity, Thakkar’s ambidexterity and Bohlman’s tap-dancing prowess.
“I can tap dance, if that’s cool,” Bohlman said. “I started learning how to tap dance when I was four, and I’ve been doing it since then and I’m 19 now.”
Between university classes, clubs and floor meetings, UConn students always have to have a fun fact they can break out at any moment. As such, the three girls were quick to break out theirs: Quigley said she plays the trumpet and Bohlman showed off her double-jointed thumbs, but Thakkar’s was far more unique.
“UConn is my 18th school, I’ve moved around a lot throughout my lifetime, so it’s nice to finally just go to one place for four years,” Thakkar said. “But I also went to Stamford campus and then I came here, so it’s a little different.”
Like with these fun facts, every college student enters their school with a passion that defines them. Quigley and Bohlman’s passions are applied in their everyday interactions with their peers.
“I’m passionate about helping other people and being positive and being a good, positive energy in someone’s life or just helping out other people,” Quigley said.
While Quigley wants to influence those she meets, Bohlman is more interested in the meeting people itself.
“I’m passionate about meeting new people and no matter who they are and what background they are,” Bohlman said. “I like making a lot of different friends and I don’t like really identifying with a clique. I like being friends with a lot of different people.”
Thakkar’s passion focused less on her fellow students and more on outreach.
“I’m really passionate about education, like education in third-world countries, that’s why I was drawn to Asha for Education—is one of the clubs I do on campus—I also used to volunteer outside (UConn),” Thakkar said. “When I was in high school I did four years of volunteering teaching kids math and English for four years.”
But even though Thakkar’s passion is focused on underprivileged children, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love making friends and meeting new people, like Bohlman and Quigley. In fact, she encourages others to find ways to form their own friend groups.
“Definitely stay involved with stuff. I think it’s easy to—in transition, because I came from the Stamford campus, when I came to the Storrs campus it was very hard to, as a transfer student, get involved in different things,” Thakkar said. “So don’t be discouraged by the fact that everyone freshman year already made their friends, or whatever, people are still friendly and you can always find your friend group by getting involved with stuff on campus.”
Ever the positive person, Quigley reminds students to stay optimistic, especially during the stresses of finals week.
“Always stay positive, even when things are difficult, just stay positive, be optimistic, always have a good outlook on things,” Quigley said.
On a similar note, Bohlman asks her peers to use the end of this semester to check in on yourself and how you feel about what you’re learning.
“Just continue pursuing things that make you excited, and if you aren’t excited about it then consider changing what you’re majoring in,” Bohlman said.
So in the words of these three girls, make friends, stay positive and find things that excite you. And next time you’re sitting by yourself in the Student Union, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to sit with someone you don’t know. Who knows, maybe you could be friends.
Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.