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Becoming a University of Arizona Wildcat – From Dublin to Tucson

December 20, 2011

by Emily Edlund (Dublin High School Class of 2011 and University of Arizona Freshman)

DHS Class of 2011 Graduation (with Daniel Heddy)

As the year comes to an end, I’ve found that my most exciting memory of 2011 was becoming a University of Arizona Wildcat. As exciting as graduating from Dublin High School was, I was anxious and nervous to begin my new chapter in Tucson at the University of Arizona. I wondered who would become my good friends, whether I would get along with my roommate, and what my classes would be like. I was able to arrive at the University almost a week before classes started because I signed up to be on Hi-Team (a U of A welcoming committee). As a member of Hi-Team, I learned some of the ins and outs of the University and was then able to share my knowledge with the rest of the incoming freshmen when they arrived a few days after me.

College was truly a fresh start for me, unlike some of my other Dublin High classmates, because no one I knew from Dublin or the Bay Area was going to UA. I would have to make all new friends in a completely new state. I soon discovered that is what college is all about. Everyone wanted to meet new people and make new friends so it was not hard at all! When the first day of classes came around, I was surprised to find that the classes were not much different from the high school classes that I took: just the number of students! One of my lectures had 800 people in it! I feel that the AP classes I took at Dublin High definitely prepared me for the classes I am taking now. I was excited to get a B on my first college essay because of the techniques I had learned through taking Honors English courses at DHS. Even more exciting, I was able to grow incredibly as a writer and get A’s on the rest of my essays for that class!

U of A RHA Block Party

Dublin High also taught me how important it is to be involved. Because of that I have volunteered at a foster family clinic helping to organize and distribute food for a holiday dinner that they hosted. I will also be volunteering in San Diego during my spring break in March with the Residence Hall Association helping feed the homeless. I am currently on our dorm’s hall council where we coordinate and plan events for our dorm to give people a break from the stressful school life. These programs have opened my eyes to new ways to be a leader and I feel that I have grown in that aspect in the matter of just one semester.

It’s hard to believe that the first semester of college is already over. It definitely flew by! Over these short four months I believe that I have really matured into an adult. My roommate found me on Facebook a few weeks early and we started to talk and really liked each other. We even went out to dinner with our families the day before we moved into the dorm. I knew we would be really close friends.

Unfortunately, after the first few days of classes she found out she had to go home to Boston because of a relapse of a pre-existing medical condition. We were both devastated, but she left and I got assigned a new roommate. My new roommate and I are not as close and we definitely have our differences at times (she is a 21-year-old transfer student with a boyfriend who lives down the hall). It’s been okay though because living with someone so different from me has been a learning experience that has taught me to be an adult and to not sweat the little things. There are good days and there are bad ones, and with every bad one brings a learning lesson. It is hard living so far from home and having to do everything alone. Along with the stress of classes, you have a pile of laundry and a fish bowl to clean and no mom there to do it for you! I’ve really learned how to manage my time and make good decisions to help me succeed.

Being at such a big school has given me so much to do so I’m never bored. There is always some sort of sporting event going on. Before it was football, and now it is basketball. The sporting events are insane! Because our teams are part of the Pac 12, our school always goes all out. Before each football game, the main part of campus hosts a tailgate party with free food and games to play before the game starts. Our own student section takes up at least a quarter of the stadium and it is a surreal experience to be part of that crowd. Our basketball game days the whole town is filled with people of all ages dressed in red to support the Wildcats. There are other perks to such a big school as well. We have our own planetarium that I’ve been able to visit that works with NASA. It has inspired me to learn more about astronomy. Every Monday there’s an improv show, there is an a capella group always around campus singing, our theater is constantly playing shows at a discount price, we have stand-up comedy nights in our late-night restaurant, and more! There is always something exciting going on at the UA.

My days might be busy and most might be stressful, but not once do I regret coming to the U of A or taking the honors courses I did at DHS. I love going to such a big school where I’m meeting new people almost every day. I love the variety of courses I can take and the help I can always receive. It makes each new day a new adventure. Honestly, I would not have made it to Tucson without the help of my counselor at Dublin High, Ms. Halket. She was a great help for me when I had trouble with school and deciding where to go. I’m so excited to begin the new semester and see all of the great things I will discover as a student, volunteer, and leader. Though, I’ll never forget the great times I had at Dublin that brought me here. Once a Gael always a Gael!

At the Dublin High School 2011 Senior Awards Night Emily Edlund was recognized for the scholarship she received to attend the University of Arizona.

Other articles in the Life in College series:

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