Sarah Hughes is a graduating honors student from Salem Oregon who will earn a degree in psychology with a minor in writing.
Why did you choose WOU?
For the small and welcoming campus.
The small classes sizes are great for learning, but they’re even better for building connections with your professors. The professors can open up pathways and give you opportunities that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Also, with less graduate programs, undergraduates get opportunities that students at other universities wouldn’t get until grad school, such as being teaching assistants, research assistants, and advisors.
What do you love most about the major/minors/degree you completed?
I loved the constant support and opportunities given to me by the Psychology professors. I have yet to meet a professor in my major who did not care with 100% of their heart about their students.
What have some of your extracurriculars been (student clubs, jobs, internships, etc.)? How did those impact your time on campus?
On campus, I’ve worked at the Writing Center, as a consultant and Lead Tutor, along with being a teaching assistant two terms, a research assistant three terms, and a Psychology Peer Advisor for three terms. Compared to my off-campus jobs and activities, my on-campus experiences have connected me to hundreds of Western’s students and allowed me to form bonds with them and aid in their journey through college.
My biggest achievement was being awarded the Psychology Department award this last year for my dedication to the department and the field.
Has there been a professor that has been particularly inspiring to you?
Drs. Roscoe and Ibaraki have been two of my biggest influences in my college career and my two biggest inspirations for their unending passion and effort to help students in any way they can.
What will you miss most about college?
Since I am graduating a year early, I will miss my friends! I will also miss working at the Writing Center.
What are your plans for after graduation?
In the fall I will be starting Central Washington University’s Mental Health Counseling Master’s program.
Connect with your professors. Also, one of the best things I did during my time here was taking 12 credits for a term so that I could (among many other things) participate in this year’s Drag Show–basically take some time to participate in things that are meaningful to you because life exists outside of college and sometimes you need to feel like a person, not just a student.
What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?
You have to take time for yourself or your social life, especially outside of your dorm room. Without this, mental health can decline without even realizing it.
What is your favorite spot on campus and why?
There’s a few: third floor of the library by the windows that look out the back for the quiet and the view; walking through Campbell Hall for the art (also for the cool bathroom first floor); hanging out at the Writing Center; outside anywhere that has grass when it is sunny, like the Grove.
I lived in the dorms my first year here and one morning I went into the shower with my robe. After showering, and after my roommate had left for her morning class, I realized I left my keys inside the room (the doors lock automatically). I had a moment of panic imagining myself in nothing but a robe and flip flops walking all the way to the RSC from Ackerman. Luckily, my RA was there and able to get the keys and unlock the door for me.
What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?
That I am strong and no matter how much is thrown at me, I can handle it.