As a fourth-year student, I have been blessed with many opportunities as an SPIA student. Hopefully, my experience here can give incoming Freshmen an insight into what it’s like to be an SPIA student. When I first started my collegiate journey here at the University of Georgia, I was a chemistry major on the Pre-Med track. I enjoyed the rigorous courses chemistry offered, but I lost the spark I once had for the field towards the end of my 1st semester. I immediately knew this called for a change, so the following semester, I registered for classes that sparked my interest while also fulfilling the requirements for graduation. With this leap of faith, I landed on a course that would ultimately change my life forever.
Hot Topics in International Affairs, taught by Dean Auer, ignited this fire I once thought was lost by being a supportive figure for my peers and me, which meant a lot to me since we were in the middle of the pandemic. Dean Auer wanted us to engage with the content on a level that would challenge our critical thinking and writing skills that could be applied to our everyday lives. Discovering more about Homeland Security and how the department works to improve the security of the U.S. in many aspects, including customs, borders, and emergency response to natural and man-made disasters, ultimately encouraged me to pursue a degree in Political Science.
Changing my major to Political Science has been the best decision I could’ve made for myself due to the endless possibilities this field offers. From being blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the Applied Politics Program to now being an SPIA Ambassador, I must admit that I would not have become the person I am without the exceptional faculty and peers that make up this college. For incoming Freshmen, my advice would be to trust your gut and take risks on opportunities because these risks can turn into pivotal moments in your life that will ultimately shape your collegiate experience. Lastly, take advantage of all the opportunities the university has, especially within SPIA, because you can impact the world like no other by being surrounded by a supportive network of faculty that wants you to succeed in all endeavors of your life.
- Terrell Roberts – Political Science and History Major. Philosophy minor. Certificate in Applied Politics