We asked the peer mentors to answer some questions about their time here at UConn and give some simple tips and tricks to navigating the campus. Meet Kristopher! A Sophomore majoring in Environmental Engineering and Urban and Community Studies.
What semester is this for you?
I am a Sophomore. This is my 4th semester here at UConn.
When are you graduating?
What’s your major?
Environmental Engineering and Urban and Community Studies
Do you minor in anything or have a specific concentration within your major?
Where are you from?
Quaker Hill Connecticut
Are you in a learning community? (which one) How has it helped you?
Yes, EcoHouse Learning Community! Although I am an engineering major, I joined EcoHouse because I wanted to meet other people who are like-minded and passionate about the environment. With my experience in my learning community, I meet some of my best friends and was able to share some great experiences on campus to learn about sustainability on campus.
What on-campus activities/organizations are you involved in?
● Outing Club
● Spring Valley Student Farm Club
● UConn Adventure Center
● Engineering Peer Mentor
Where is your favorite spot on campus to study or hangout?
My favorite spot to study is the ITE building. The upper floors are super quiet and have plenty of room to spread out on. When the weather allows, I love hanging out outside on the lawn in front of the Student Union. I always mix it up though to keep things interesting.
What is the easiest part of your academic career at UConn?
Being in the School of Engineering is inherently not an easy thing. What makes it easier is meeting new people that you take classes with and creating study groups.
What is the hardest part of your academic career at UConn?
Every semester when course selections come around I always struggle picking what classes to take. There are so many options and classes that interest me that it is hard to pick what to take. My advice is to find one class a semester that is out of your comfort zone that you know nothing about. I always find these types of classes are the ones I look forward to going to the most and are the most interesting to me.
Any plans after graduation?
Considering that I am still a Sophomore, I am still exploring the opportunities for internships and networking with professors to see what interests me the most.
What is your advice to incoming freshmen (in your major or in general)?
For first-year students entering the ENVE program, you will quickly realize that ENVE is one of the smaller School of Engineering majors and you will see a lot of the same faces in your classes. The people you are taking classes with freshman year will also be in some classes with you senior year so get to know them. Creating an academic social network is extremely helpful for getting through the rigorous classes that the School of Engineering requires. Also networking with upperclassmen, TAs, and professors will help solidify what direction you want to take with your academics. For all freshmen, your freshman year is the best time to work on your study habits and origination skills which will help you down the road, so it is best to experiment with what works for you in your first two semesters.
Do you have any tips for navigating the campus?
Get lost! Explore campus with a friend and go into buildings you may have never been into before or areas of campus you have never stepped foot on before. You will find corners of campus that will be your new favorite study spots. Just do not forget to stop at the Dairy Bar on the way!
How was adjusting to life at UConn like for you as a freshman? Would you do anything differently?
UConn is a pretty big school and can be overwhelming at first. Taking advantage of the involvement fair and joining clubs and activities is the best way to meet new people and find your home on campus. I am a huge fan of the programs offered by the Rec Center such as fitness classes and Adventure Center Trips. It is never too late to join clubs and organizations on campus and try something you may have never done before.
What resources are most helpful for the first years coming into the school of engineering?
● Engineering Tutoring Center
● Center for Career Development
● Talking to upperclassmen and professors
● Learning Communities!
Any fun facts?
I have a twin brother!