Nia Foster spent part of her summer at the University of Connecticut’s Pre-College Summer Program.
Why did you choose to participate in UConn’s Pre-College Summer program?
I chose to participate in UConn’s Pre-College Summer program, because after visiting the university and finding out about the pre-vet program, I spoke with my mother and reiterated how working with animals is all I wanted to do. The university is like a small community filled with so many opportunities, accompanied by smiles and friendly faces. I didn’t envision, nor did I seek other opportunities for a summer program. During my visit, I was really impressed with the positive spirit UConn embodies and the painted rock was a sure indicator. At any given day, an event, team or idea would be celebrated on it. UConn celebrates people not just for their accomplishments, but for their unique qualities and I wanted to be a part of that.
How did you decide which program or camp was right for you?
My decision to attend UConn’s Pre-College Summer program was driven by my love for animals. I have always been interested in veterinary medicine and during my tour of the Storrs campus, I caught a glimpse of the summer program on one of the screens. Wanting to know more and excited about the opportunity to take college courses, I began searching the school’s website and found the pre-vet program. Let me add that the farm and Dairy Bar were appealing, as well.
What was a typical day at UConn’s Pre-College Summer program?
A typical day at UConn’s Pre-College Summer program usually entailed waking up around 8 a.m. to ensure being on time for class, which started at 9 a.m. Breakfast followed, along with my anticipation for the many choices in the smoothie bar in the dining hall. This always posed a dilemma for me, but it was such an awesome dilemma to look forward. On most days, the bus ride to Mystic Aquarium soon followed, and our work with the scientists began. After lunch and making our way back to the Storrs campus, it was time for our workshops, ranging from college writing to hand drumming to pharmaceuticals – depending upon your selection at the time of registration. After the workshops came more bonding, but on a personal level. Dinner, usually followed by socializing with my new friends, was a tremendous amount of fun. The game room was one of the hot spots.
What was the most memorable moment of your summer at UConn?
The most memorable moment of my summer at UConn was walking down to the farm with my close-knit group. This was the fastest I’ve ever genuinely bonded with anyone. In the three hours at the farm, we took pictures, laughed a lot, and even made plans to continue our friendship beyond UConn. Along with enjoying and learning about the animals, this experience fostered a sense of togetherness that I will never forget.
What advice do you have for teens looking at UConn’s Pre-College Summer program?
The most important piece of advice that I have for teens looking at UConn’s Pre-College Summer program is to step out of your comfort zone and open up a world of opportunities and people. Do it! Try new things. Approach new experiences with an open mind in preparation for all that is to come. It took some convincing by my peers for me to try Zumba, and I am so glad I did. I had the most amazing time. It’s always nice to surround yourself with encouraging people.