Erin Worley is a 2021 graduate from Dallas, Oregon. She is an Integrated English Studies major with a minor in Communication Studies.
What has your experience been like as a student in the Honors Program?
I have been involved with WOU’s Honors Program since freshman year, and I have really enjoyed my time in the program. We have a wonderful director (shoutout to Gavin!) and I have made such great friendships, which I am sure will last a lifetime. The Honors Program provided me such a strong community of support, and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to participate in such a fantastic program.
Why did you choose WOU?
Honestly, I chose WOU as one of my top college options because of the proximity to home. I live in Dallas, so I was able to live at home for my three and a half years at WOU, which allowed me to save a lot of money. As well, after learning more about the university and exploring the campus, it was easy to see WOU was the right fit for me, with the small class sizes and attentive professors. I am so glad I made the decision to attend WOU.
What have some of your extracurriculars been? How did those impact your time on campus?
During my three and a half years at WOU, I worked in four different student employment positions: I worked at Valsetz, I worked in University Advancement’s call center, I worked at MarCom as a student writer, and I also worked as a peer tutor for Student Success and Advising. Being involved with these positions helped me better understand the needs of WOU students, as I worked in positions that directly served the student community, celebrated student achievements, and worked to provide funding for scholarships and student programs. Not only do I believe that these positions will look great on a resume, but I also found a community of phenomenal supervisors and coworkers who I am certain will help me achieve my goals in the coming future.
Do you have any advice for current and prospective students?
I know everyone says this, but your time at college truly does go by so fast. It feels like my first day of college was just a few months ago, but it’s now been years since that day. My advice to current and prospective students is to enjoy their time at WOU to the fullest extent: hang out with your friends, talk with your professors, participate in the annual events, do it all! You’ll never regret going to an event, but you’ll probably regret not going once you see how much fun everyone else had.
What will you miss the most about WOU?
The community–I have been away from campus for a couple months now (due to graduating this past winter), and I miss being around everyone at WOU. Obviously, with COVID-19, campus looked and felt different, but I was always surrounded by unending support from faculty, staff, and peers, and I have really missed that sense of community these past few months.
How have you adapted your learning process for COVID-19 restrictions and virtual classes?
I will be honest, I did not particularly enjoy distance learning. Pre-pandemic, I had only registered for one online class, and I ended up dropping the class during the second week because I was not a fan of virtual classes. However, it made it easier that everyone was in the same boat; we were (and still are) adapting to this whole new way of learning. One particular struggle I had was the separation between school time and “off” time–during online learning, I found myself constantly working on assignments and class work that didn’t necessarily take priority at that moment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to balance the separation prior to graduation, so that is something I will need to work on as I work toward a master’s degree.
What are your plans for after graduation?
Since graduating in March, I have been working as a substitute in a local school district. I am currently working on my application for WOU’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which I hope to begin in Winter 2022. Ideally, in the next couple of years, I will be working as a high school English teacher.