Get to know Trish Walsh, an aspiring urban education teacher who just finished her freshman year at Montclair State University. She is making the most of her time at school by working, joining the Leadership Team, and staying on top of her studies. Take a look at our one-on-one interview!
Patch: In three words, how would you describe your freshman year experience?
TW: unexpected, eye-opening, adaptive
Patch: What was a highlight of your involvement at Montclair?
TW: When I started working on the Leadership Team, which is a group of students who are hyper-aware of what students like to do on campus, so we meet with other students to help them branch out and get involved. Through the Team I really saw how I was making an impact on campus because I was helping people figure out what they wanted to do and improve their experience at Montclair.
Patch: What is one of the biggest struggles you encountered while at college?
TW: Learning to live with someone who values different things than I do. Also learning to adjust my lifestyle to live peacefully with another person was very difficult.
Patch: Are you working at school? What’s it like balancing work and school?
TW: The Leadership Team is my paid job and balancing work and school can be difficult, but because I had worked a full time job before college, I knew what to expect. I tried to work as many hours as I could fit in, but you have to remember to leave time for schoolwork because that’s what you’re really there for. In addition to working, I volunteered at an elementary school and other volunteer opportunities on campus so that took up some time too.
Patch: What are you up to for the summer?
TW: Well I’m currently teaching full time at Kinder Kastle on Route 27. It’s a really great opportunity and it has taught me a lot about classroom management. It’s very indicative of what it must be like to run a Kindergarten class so it’s very applicable to the field I hope to go into.
Patch: What’s it like being home since you’ve been away for a year?
TW: It’s nice to be around my family again, but it doesn’t really feel any different. I don’t have a later curfew or anything; I have very fair parents and they trust me to do my own thing.
Patch: What are you looking forward to in the upcoming school year?
TW: I’m really excited to be familiar with the campus and not have to worry about trying to relearn my surroundings. Hopefully because I’ll be more comfortable, I’ll be able to do more on campus and get more involved that I already have.
Patch: Any advice you can offer to high school graduates as they head off to college this fall?
TW: Try not to have too many expectations for what college will be like. When you initially start school don’t let your first impressions dictate how you foresee your entire experience.