Student Spotlight: Becky @ Purdue University

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Meet Becky, a junior Genetic Biology major at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She previously attended Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois.

What factors were most important when you decided to go to your school?

Research was a huge component of my college search because that's something I was interested in and wanted to try as soon as possible. I looked for schools that would allow me to begin researching right away. Other than that, it was all about which school felt like home. That depended a lot on the kinds of people that I met, and if I could see myself being friends with the students I interacted with. Purdue has incredible research opportunities, engaging professors, and a wonderful, active student body. Though it's a big school, there are opportunities to get involved and make your experience feel more tight-knit. I only knew this by visiting, so that was super important!

In high school, I wish I could have known that...

You don't have to have things all figured out – just have faith.

How would you characterize your school?

Mainstream, Nerdy, Conservative, and Outdoorsy.

How would you characterize your group of friends?

Geographically diverse.

What types of clubs, activities, sports, jobs, etc are you involved with on campus?

I am involved with the Purdue All American Marching Band (as a student leader in the trombone section, and also as a head of the Records and Recruitment Office), Purdue Science Ambassadors (we talk to incoming students about science at Purdue, have prospective students shadow us, etc.), Cru (an on-campus student Christian ministry), as well as undergraduate research in a lab studying the genetics of pancreatic cancer.

Three things you won't read in your school's brochure
  1. Although Greek life is huge at Purdue, you don't need it to make friends and have fun on campus. I used to think that the only way to make meaningful friendships and have a good time would be to join a Greek house, and those are wonderful benefits of Greek life, but Purdue is so big and lively that you are guaranteed to find amazing friends anywhere you commit your time to. Join clubs! Try new things! If Greek isn't for you, don't worry - there is plenty more out there to explore. But hey, if that's something you want to do, you'll find plenty of Greek houses here!

  2. Advisers might not bring this up right away, but taking classes outside of your major is super rewarding. If a class sounds intriguing but is not within your plan of study, try to take it anyway if possible! You can really gain a better understanding of your peers and of the world around you. Plus, you meet people outside your major that you wouldn't have otherwise!

  3. Once you become a Boilermaker, you will ALWAYS be a Boilermaker. I traveled to Germany with a group of Purdue students this summer, and as I was walking down the street in Berlin, someone spotted our Purdue apparel and shouted (in a German accent) "Boiler Up!!" It was fantastic. The kind of pride associated with being a Boilermaker sticks with you, and it's a really cool family to be a part of.

Best on-campus event

Spring Fest is really fun in my opinion. Right when the weather is getting nice again, the College of Agriculture pulls out all of the stops and has this extravaganza of Spring fun. There are llamas and cows and baby goats to pet on Memorial Mall, and exotic animals in the life sciences building to gawk at, and the time-honored traditions of the Bug Bowl (racing cockroaches, anyone?) and cricket spitting. Then fireworks at the end of the weekend! It's so totally Indiana and wonderfully unique. Plus families from the surrounding towns come and bring their kids to have fun on campus. It's a fun family event that I personally enjoy a lot.

Favorite book / class

Genetics (surprise!)

Favorite dining hall meal

Whenever they have barbecue ribs, I'm there.

Favorite place to eat out around campus

Chauncey Hill - tons of restaurants!

How did you spend your last summer?

Last summer, I had a full-time, ten-week paid internship on campus. It was super easy to apply for, and I was surprised to get it after only my freshman year. Purdue loves to fund student researchers! I got to live on campus, take a Communications class, and enjoy the summer while getting a much better idea of what research is all about, without the normal stress of school. It was an amazing summer.

On weekends, students...

Kick it on campus.

It’s 3am on a Saturday. What are you doing?

Either sleeping (Hey! School is tiring!) or up late playing video games or watching movies with friends on my floor. I lived in a co-ed dorm this past year, so my roommate Marissa and I would join some of our guy friends for some Super Smash Bros quite frequently.

It’s finals week and the libraries are packed. Where do you go to study?

I like to study in my dorm room, but I also love to go to the many available lobby spaces in the dorms. There are quiet study areas as well as places where talking is allowed if you're someone who likes a little background noise.

Before I graduate, I want to…

Explore as many buildings on campus as possible, because there are some really cool ones that I never get to see! I also really want to try some new clubs, like improv comedy and swing dancing. My other goal is to be published as a co-author in a research paper.

Purdue University

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