Jenny Rooper is a 2021 graduate from Silverton, Oregon. She is a Pre-Med major.
What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program?
Yes, I am an honors student! I’ve really enjoyed the Honors Program here at WOU, especially in comparison to how it’s run at other schools. Though occasionally stressful, the overall experience has been positive. I love the colloquium courses and what those mean for both students and professors–I feel as though they really embody the meaning of a college elective course.
Besides the course load/gen-ed that the Honors Program offers, one of the best aspects is the people involved. You meet some wonderful people who become friends for life in the Honors Program and in the dorm, if you chose to live there. I also really appreciate the honors professors–you can really tell that they love to teach and provide so much time and effort to our studies. It’s those little things that can make or break an experience.
What has been your most memorable class?
I think Plant Ecology, BI 454. For one, it was a small class, about 16 people, and we all knew each other from taking all of the early BI series classes. Because of this, we all were comfortable with each other and had so much fun during discussions and projects. Plus, with it being a field study course, we created some great inside jokes during our drives or time out in the woods. I also loved the moments when we were all crammed inside Java Crew ordering coffees and pastries before we left for our field studies. Though, the best incident [was] when we got our van stuck in the mud.
What has been your favorite annual event at WOU?
I have two favorite events: Chinese New Year and the MUN/International Club karaoke night. For starters, Chinese New Year is such a great event full of great food, amazing entertainment, and lots of laughs with friends. It’s a wonderful night full of fun and amazement–honestly, the dragon dancers are insane.
My other favorite event, the MUN/International Club collab karaoke night, is just insanely joyous. I’m a little biased here as I’m in both clubs, but the atmosphere that it creates is top notch. There’s free food, typically pizza and cookies, and people rocking out with each other. I think one of the best things about it is how nonjudgemental the atmosphere is, and how there isn’t any pressure. For example, you don’t have to sing. You can just sit around and enjoy the night and cheer on those on stage. Also, it’s not a singing competition–no one cares if you’re off key or pitchy; this is just a night of fun. Plus, with this being a collab event with International Club, many performers sing in other languages, feeding y’all culture. It’s just a chef’s kiss type of event.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
My two big extracurriculars were being a part of the International Club and Model United Nations (MUN). Both introduced me to so many wonderful people and cultures, which is something that I never imagined would happen in my life–especially at this age. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities that MUN has provided for me in terms of traveling–I’ve been able to see some magnificent places and meet, as previously mentioned, great people. And though not much traveling happens with the International Club, I feel as though I have through the immense amount of laughter and connections I’ve had with the international community on campus.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
Put yourself out there and try new things! I highly recommend going to club meetings or on-campus events, even if you’re not an official member of them. I’ve found that by forcing myself out of my comfort zone and going to these various meetings/events opened doors for me to meet some great people and perspectives. The clubs on campus also have a beautiful way of welcoming everyone with open arms and making you feel appreciated. Go alone if you must, but trust me, you’ll walk out with plenty of friends.
Who stands out from your time at WOU and why?
For me, the people that stand out are the friends I’ve made along the way. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some wonderful people from all over the world, and the amount of love and support I have for them will always last. My heart goes out to the international friends that I have come to love, and I can’t wait to be able to travel and see them again.
What was your most visited spot on campus?
As shameful as it may sound, I think that my most visited spot on campus was Caffé Allegro. It was an easy halfway point between my classes, and like most college students, I have a severe caffeine addiction. Plus, it was my favorite spot to grab a quick breakfast on my way to eight a.m. lectures–a nice coffee and scone/yogurt to go. It got to the point that everyone knew my name and order, though–I haven’t decided if that’s a good sign or not.