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NSE Student Story



Sophie Name: Elise Poppen
Major: Classical Civilization and Latin
Expected Graduation: Spring 2014
School: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Choice of School: Elise chose UMass because she had always wanted to go to an East Coast school and it was a chance to do it. She also liked that it was a smaller school than the U, but not tiny.

Academic Benefits: Elise took classes that weren't offered at the U but counted towards her major. Also, the smaller class sizes pushed her to engage in class discussions.

Personal Benefits: NSE pushed Elise out of her comfort zone, and taught her to adapt. Though she had some stressful moments, she is now much better at "rolling with the punches," a skill she knows will help her for the rest of her life. Also, Elise met friends from all over the world who she is still close to.

Biggest Reward: Elise's evolution throughout the semester was the biggest reward. At the beginning of the semester, she was unsure of her future goals. By the end, however, Elise became more confident and mapped out her life goals.

Biggest Challenge: The distance from home was the biggest challenge. Elise's hometown is only an hour and a half away from the Cities, so she never had to worry about being away for too long before. However, the distance challenged Elise to work on her long distance relationships, and helped her develop a strong UMass friend network.

Meaningful Experience: One weekend, Elise and her suitemates tried to go to the "Big E", a state fair-like event for all of New England. However, the traffic was so bad that they ended up going to a pumpkin patch instead. On their way to the pumpkin patch, they got lost and ended up in Connecticut. When the group finally arrived at the patch, they got lost again in a corn maze, and ended the day with doughnuts.

Words of Wisdom: "Don't be afraid to be the 'doer'. Say yes to people and experiences you normally wouldn't, and if you want to do something, just do it! If it doesn't go according to plan, just laugh and go with it."