Lauren Timmerman of Brookfield, Connecticut immediately built a community within UConn after transferring here her sophomore year. By joining student organizations, being active and switching her major to nutritional sciences, Lauren discovered her passion for health and decided to pursue what truly made her happy. After she graduates in May 2016, Lauren hopes to become a registered dietitian. Here is what she said about her experiences as a CAHNR student.
What attracted you to UConn? I attended Quinnipiac University for my freshman year. I thought I wanted to go to a small school, but I realized that this wasn’t for me. I visited UConn during the spring of my freshman year, fell in love with the school and decided to transfer. I liked UConn’s size and the ease of becoming part of the community. There is a place for everyone at UConn and so many opportunities to get involved and explore your interests. After starting at UConn my sophomore year, I knew that I was in the right place.
Why did you choose your particular major? When I transferred to UConn, I was a communication major. I took the introduction communication courses and did well, but I realized that this was not what truly interested me. I went to the involvement fair and joined UConn Endurance and Real Slow Food. I realized that I was passionate about healthy lifestyles, and I wanted my career to be in something that I loved. I decided to switch my major to nutritional sciences.
Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? When I first came to UConn, I joined a social running club, UConn Endurance. When I joined, I was not a runner at all. However, through this club, I have met some of my best friends and have grown to love running. In UConn Endurance, we push each other to go beyond our limits, not only in running but also in other aspects of school. For instance, my Endurance friends encouraged me to become a CAHNR Ambassador. Now, I am the president of UConn Endurance, and I have run two marathons and four half-marathons.
Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies. Some of my most memorable experiences at UConn have been through my involvement with UConn Outdoors. In January, I went on a UConn Outdoors trip to Hawaii with seven other UConn students. Over the course of the eleven-day trip, we camped out on a beach, hiked, surfed, tried standup paddle boarding, met the locals and learned about Hawaiian culture. The experience completely enriched my life.
It gave me the chance to see things through a different lens and realize that there is more to life than studying and getting good grades. It is easy to be caught up in looking toward the future, but I learned it is important to take a step back, relax and enjoy the present. This trip was exactly what I needed at the time, especially as I come to the end of my college career and am about to enter the real world.
In addition, I went on another UConn Outdoors trip to Utah last spring. It was similar to the Hawaii trip and a chance to take a step away from hard academics to try something new. Through my involvement with UConn Outdoors, I realized the importance of traveling and exploring outside of Connecticut.
What was the biggest challenge in your UConn career? My biggest challenge was becoming more independent as I transitioned from freshman to senior year. I learned that it was okay to do things that I personally wanted to do, rather than try to please others and do what I was supposed to do.
When do you expect to graduate? What then? I expect to graduate in May 2016. After that, I will enroll in the UConn Master’s Degree Coordinated Program in dietetics in the fall of 2016. My goal is to become a registered dietitian, preferably in the world of sports nutrition.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? If I were to offer advice to other students, I would tell them not to be afraid to branch out during their time at UConn. It is important to try new things and get involved, whether this is through joining clubs or signing up for trips. These four years of our lives are special and unique in that there are so many brilliant people and resources at our fingertips. We should take advantage of this, as it will not only benefit our UConn experience but our entire lives.