My Experience at FHSU
College, a time where you pursue a higher education to obtain credentials for your dream job. It is also a time where you become more independent, explore different activities and interests, and encounter new challenges. Before entering college in August 2019, I attended Beloit Jr-Sr High School. During my Junior and Senior year, I toured many campuses from KU, K-State, to FHSU. After concluding my visits at all three campuses, I found my home at Hays, Kansas, where I met lifelong friends that will be in my wedding one day.
Hello, my name is Trinity Wagner. I am currently a sophomore and this is my college experience I have had at Fort Hays State University.
MY FRESHMAN YEAR
I absolutely loved my freshman year at Fort Hays State University. I lived in the dorms at Victor E. Village with my best friend as my roommate. We lived in the learning community, White Coat Professionals, which was a group of students that were studying any pre-professional subjects such as medicine, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dentistry, and so on. Together, we attended the same course in chemistry at 9:30 AM throughout the week. Living in the learning community gave me instant connections to students in my class. Right after we finished the three-hour chemistry lab on Wednesdays, we would join in the lounge area that our dorms surrounded and work on our lab reports together. I met an array of students, some that didn’t live too far from my hometown to meeting one of my best friends whose home was out-of-country in Paraguay. I felt I was instantly given access to 10 to 20 friends within my first 2 weeks of school and I still carry those friendships with me today.
Navigating the campus during my first week of classes was pretty easy to manage. Fort Hays State University has a majority of the university’s buildings built in a square around the quad. The quad is the grassy walking area from in the center of the buildings where many club fairs are held. Classes lasted in 50-minute integrals. For example, I had a class that was 9:30-10:20 AM and my next class was at 10:30-11:20 AM. Essentially, I only had 10 minutes to walk to my next class - yikes! However, I never once experienced this being an issue as I presumed it would be. With the buildings all being close to one and other, I still would arrive 4-5 minutes early to sit in my favorite seat in class.
In high school, I was a 3-sport athlete who also participated in a weights session every day. I did not want to come to college and lose my routines in conditioning or strength training. I was thankful for FHSU’s wellness center in Cunningham Hall who provides free access to its students. The facility includes free weights, weight training machines, and a variety of cardio machinery as well. It was nice to have a place to go when I needed a break from studying to relax my mind and continue to do something that I enjoy.
Another area I would find myself quite often was in Forsyth's Library. A couple of pals and I would go at night around 7 PM and stay until 11:30 PM. We would gather around a table that had a large whiteboard available and begin studying for our classes. Of course, around 8:30 PM we would get the late-night study munchies. To resolve our hunger, we would either take a walk to Starbucks that was right across the street at the Student Union or call in a delivery order from Jimmy Johns who delivered directly to the library.
The connections to be made at Fort Hays State University are endless. One area that really took me by surprise was the relationships I would make with my professors. I remember when my biology professor was handing out homework assignments back in our class of 80-some students. He handed me my paper without asking for my name. My professor knew my name without me even speaking to him outside of class. This was the moment that I knew FHSU was not just an ordinary university. Another instance was during my second semester of school when I needed extra tutoring in my Chemistry 2 course. My professor offered flexible office hours and if those times did not work, you could schedule an appointment with him. I will admit, I was nervous to speak to a professor one-on-one. I felt intimidated. As I walked in with my material we sat down at a table to review the problems I brought. After completing the review, my professor asked me more personal questions such as where my hometown was, what my future goals were, and how his teaching has been. The professors at FHSU truly care about your potential and your success in their classrooms. I never thought I would gain that experience.
MY SOPHOMORE YEAR: THE COVID-ALTERING YEAR
Last March during my Freshman year all students were sent home to complete the remainder of the school year online. With plans to return back onto campus in the fall, I had no idea of what to expect how the atmosphere would change. Many of my on-campus classes transitioned to a Hybrid format (where some students would meet in-person and others used Zoom to listen in) or were offered completely online. Though my participation in an on-campus lecture setting was changed, my involvement in different clubs and activities skyrocketed. This semester I changed my major from pre-medicine to digital marketing, I joined a sorority, a business fraternity, a public relations club, and participated in an intramurals volleyball team.
A group of my friends created a team for intramural volleyball and would play games on Monday and Wednesday nights around 8 and 9 PM. Volleyball not your thing? Our Intramural office offers a variety of sports. View the entire list at fhsu.edu/hhp/intramurals/.
In addition to my increased involvement, shortly after I changed my major I picked up my first on-campus job. I now work as the Student Digital Marketing Assistant with the University Relations and Marketing department. FHSU offers many on-campus job positions, work-study and non-work-study, that are flexible scheduling hours around a student’s class schedule.
Though the school year has been altered in some aspects while facing a pandemic, FHSU still strives to give students the best experience of their undergrad years. From the professors that care so much about their students to the staff and faculty assembling events to keep students engaged yet healthy, thank you for making these hard times not feel so bad. I know the bounce back from the current circumstances that our students will be packing the football stands, conversations will be more cherished, and our education in these 4 short years will never be taken for granted.
Come discover yourself and meet students like you at Fort Hays State University. I know I will always be grateful for my experience.
Hi I'm Trinity, a sophomore at Fort Hays State University pursuing a Digital Marketing degree along with a minor in Finance. I have always had a passion for content marketing using photography, graphic designing, and writing. I was thankful to find a position with University Relations and Marketing where my passion is also my work. Serving as the Student Digital Marketing Assistant has allowed me to build my knowledge in a variety of marketing analytic software while strengthening relationships with my fellow staff members. When I am not at work, you can likely find me at the local gym crushing a weights session, traveling throughout Kansas in my Ford Fusion, or enjoying some chips and salsa at Cancun. I am grateful for the opportunities FHSU has offered me and cannot wait to see what my future entails!