Ailyn Angel is a graduating student from Hillsboro and will be obtaining a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Humanities and Social Science. She is a first-generation student who transferred from Portland Community College in fall 2017.
Why did you choose WOU?
I chose WOU because I was initially interested in the Education program. I also liked the fact that the class sizes were small, and that WOU is geared to first-generation college students. Being from Hillsboro, I found that WOU was not too far from my family, but also far enough to focus on my school work.
What do you love most about WOU?
The thing I love most is the support I am able to receive from all areas around campus because of the college’s small size.
What do you love most about your Interdisciplinary Studies degree?
What I love most about my degree is that it mixes two of my highest interests, writing and linguistics with psychology and sociology. I also like the versatility of my degree.
What are some of the extracurriculars you took part in? How did those impact your time on campus?
Throughout my two years at WOU, I have been involved with student government, MEChA, the Northwest Passage, the Tuition & Fees Advisory Committee (TFAC), and the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC). In addition to those extracurriculars, I worked for the local middle school and high school in Independence. I also was a tutor at the Writing Center. Because of my involvement, I spent most of my time throughout the week on campus. However, I didn’t mind. WOU always has some kind of activity on campus, and the Writing Center is a wonderful place to just hang out.
What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?
My biggest achievement has been learning how to advocate for students through all the involvement on campus. Although it can be scary to be in meetings with administration, it’s important that all decisions being made on campus has some student input.
Has there been a class or professor that has been particularly inspiring to you? Please share with us!
Every linguistics class I have taken here at WOU has inspired me. I really found my purpose through these courses, and I am so grateful for the support that Dr. Paraskevas and Dr. Troyer have given me. I also am very grateful for Dr. Schmidt, the director of the Writing Center, for believing in me and inspiring me to become a better version of myself. Finally, Dr. Pérez Sánchez who has challenged me, in Spanish, throughout each course.
What will you miss most about college?
Even though it sounds crazy, I’ll miss doing projects and research papers. I feel that completing these is when I did some of my best learning, and I was able to apply that learning.
What are your plans for after graduation?
As of now, my plan is to find a job assisting language learners through a non-profit organization. I also plan on completing a CELTA certification course abroad, and then applying to the Language Teaching Studies Master’s program at the University of Oregon.
What advice do you have for current and future Wolves?
The best advice I can give is to really invest in each and every assignment that is given to you. No matter how insignificant it might seem, try your best to find a way to apply it to a life outside of college and for a purpose more than just a grade. Oh yeah, and take the time to learn how to properly cite for your field! It’s the easiest points you can get for most assignments.
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
I wish I knew more about all the possibilities within each major. I think as a first-generation student, it’s really hard to explore majors because they don’t sound like they can be applicable to jobs. But, the more I learned, the more I found my path.
What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
My favorite spot on campus is Hamersly Library, because I spent most of my time there. The first floor is a great place to get snacks and talk with friends, the second floor is a good place for study groups, and the third floor is a good spot to focus in on studying without interruptions.
What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?
The most important lesson I’ve learned about myself throughout college, might sound cliche, but is to just be myself and to put my needs before anything. College really helped me deal with internalized toxic habits I had and to understand the importance of my mental health. I am thankful that I now know how to treat myself better and celebrate every little accomplishment.