Take advantage of the opportunities at your disposal

Samantha Higgins

Clubs, sports, leadership opportunities, on campus employment, research, professors in our fields, trips to the city, concerts—UNH offers us so many amazing opportunities. However, so many students complain about the price we are paying to attend school here.

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I’ll admit I am drowning in student loans just like the next person, but there is one reason you won’t hear me complaining. I think I pay for the hundreds of opportunities that I have at my fingertips.

People often tell me I’ve taken on too much, or that my resume is too long and that I should “just relax and enjoy college,” but as far as I’m concerned, I pay for all of these opportunities and I will apply for everything and be a part of everything that I am interested in while I still have that chance. When I graduate next year, there will be no club meetings, RAs, or opportunities to spend an entire four months in another country with no worries once I leave college.

Speaking of that last part—studying abroad? Everyone should do it. UNH makes it easy, and of all the things I have participated in here, it is the one thing that I would one day like to donate back to. I want to help another student who attends UNH down the road have the opportunity to have their dreams come true and see the world like I did. Our Connecticut campus is great, but would you rather take art history in Dodds Theater with a foot of snow outside or Prato, Italy with trips to museums in Florence mixed in?

Students need to stop complaining and take advantage of the amazing opportunities they have right in front of them. Our study abroad office is here to help every step of the way—from the first thought of “hey, maybe I will do that,” until you get back to campus after you’ve seen the world.

I always thought going to Italy would just be on my bucket list but UNH made it a reality, and it only costs the plane fare and passport fee. I got to spend an entire semester in Italy, plus spend my breaks in other countries, not only expanding my knowledge of culture and the world but also interacting with different people, experiencing different ways of life, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and crossing so many places off my bucket list that I really thought I’d only ever see in movies.

Everyone can study abroad, and, in my opinion, everyone should. What major or person wouldn’t benefit from experiencing another culture or way of living? Enriching our lives and learning to understand things and people is part of college, it’s like a mandatory experience.

Even if you are afraid you will get homesick, push yourself out of that comfort zone and take that leap. You won’t regret the friends you make or the things you see, and you won’t regret the amazing food or the wonderful experiences. Maybe Italy isn’t for you; that’s fine too! You can go anywhere you want, just go talk to the study abroad office. There are students who have spent semesters in Japan and Spain, too. UNH helps our dreams come true, so instead of complaining about how much you pay to come to school, take advantage of how much you are paying and cross something off your bucket list! Go out and see the world!