I think I was around ten years old when I decided that I wanted to be a marine biologist. It wasn't until the summer before my senior year of high school that I knew it would be a good match for me. I went on a week-long class in the Florida Keys offered through UW-Manitowoc continuing education to study the biology of the area and I finally gained some hands-on experience in the field. The class days were very long; I believe they went from 8 AM to 10 PM with a couple hour-long breaks. It was so much fun, though, and was honestly the best week of my life. I loved it.
I decided to become a University of Wisconsin student at UW-Manitowoc for a few reasons. I'd always heard great things about this campus from people who'd attended here. It was close to home and I knew it would help me save money. Dr. Rick Hein, one of the biology professors here, was also one of the instructors on my Florida Keys biology trip, and he seemed so passionate about teaching, especially when it came to biology. I knew that this was the kind of professor that I wanted to have and I can honestly say that all of the professors I've had here at UW-Manitowoc show the same enthusiasm that Dr. Hein does about teaching.
One piece of advice I would like to give to an incoming UW-Manitowoc student is to get involved. When I first started school here, I was planning to focus solely on my schoolwork. Then I joined the Extreme Outdoors Club. And then, I joined Student Senate. And, I eventually re-started the Environmental Club. I kept getting involved in more and more clubs and events and it helped me get to know so many great people, both students and faculty.
I never expected to get so involved with everything or take on so much responsibility. I'm really glad I did, though, because I've gained so many great experiences and have met some of my best friends through doing so.