by Jaylin Small

As a second-year student at the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), I want to be as transparent as possible with incoming freshmen and prospective SPIA majors. My first year was a bit difficult, since I had to transition from high school to college.  I had to figure out my goals and aspirations in life, so I changed my major plenty of times. I went from biology, psychology and a combination of other majors, to finally settling on a double major in Political Science and English. I hope to attend a well-renowned law school in the future and SPIA is a great school to major in for that.

The advisors at SPIA are definitely people you come around once in a lifetime, because they are so involved in your college experience as one can only hope. In my first semester, I took a difficult science course, so I reached out for help on SAGE. Almost immediately, my advisor Russell contacted me about the situation and offered solutions. Also, it is great to have advisors who you can be comfortable around and share your thoughts and concerns.

In addition, SPIA offers many different opportunities to get involved on campus, so that is a bonus! Last semester, I attended the George S. Parthemos lecture, which gave plenty of insight into topics that I am interested in exploring throughout my career. Before COVID-19 reached its pandemic status, there was a SPIA Undergraduate Research Colloquium that offered the opportunity for students to research political topics of their choice and present it to faculty, students, and parents. Furthermore, SPIA has many chances of involvement that could lead to an even greater experience at UGA. Personally, I am someone who is introverted and extroverted, so it takes some time for me to come out of my shell. The desire for more human contact and social life took over and led me to research organizations to get involved. One of the organizations that stuck out to me was the Student Ambassador program, it looks good on my resume and allows me to help with decisions involving SPIA.

Currently, I am only a second year and we all know in order to take major requirements, we have to fulfill general requirements, so I will be finishing up with that at the end of this year. The only political science course I have taken was Intro and my professor was amazing. He explained the content very well and his exams were great, as long as you paid attention in the course. Currently, I am taking an International Relations course and I am loving the content so far. Some courses I am interested in taking in the future are: Criminal Justice Administration (POLS 3600), Legal Theory (POLS 4080), and African American Politics (POLS 4560). These are just off the top of my head, and rest assured that SPIA offers a variety of courses to take that will fulfill your wants and needs.

I am just one of the students that is a part of SPIA’s diverse and inclusive student body.  My experience will be different from everyone, including yours. Make the most of your years with SPIA and you will not regret it!