By Jacqueline Hyman
For Unwind magazine
Throughout their time at the University of Maryland, most upperclassmen have had their share of both amazing and unpleasant experiences, ranging from visiting new countries to choosing the wrong roommates.
For senior Jody Mozersky, studying abroad at the University of New South Wales in Australia was her most rewarding experience. She took data analytics classes there in the fall of 2015, which she said are not available at this university.
“I feel like it could potentially open doors that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity [for] if I’d just stayed at Maryland because I wouldn’t have learned the same information,” said the math and psychology major.
Living on the beach with people from all over the world, she said, was her favorite part of the experience. Mozersky said the atmosphere in Australia was much more relaxed, which is an attitude she has tried to bring home to the United States.
“Just knowing that most people are decent people at heart and we all try to have the same values and accomplish the same things and just have fun and be relaxed,” Mozersky said. “That was amazing.”
However, Mozersky said that taking summer classes the semester before her junior year was the biggest mistake she has made in her college career. She enrolled in three classes, giving herself no time off from school, which she said burned her out for her junior year and resulted in bad grades.
“I think it was the lack of a break. People need to take breaks, always,” Mozersky said. “Make sure that your stress levels aren’t crazy high, and I also learned that in Australia.”
Mozersky also said she thinks everyone should study abroad.
“You don’t know how it’ll change your life,” she added.
Senior criminology and criminal justice major Brittany Hamson said that joining Theta Pi Sigma, the LGBT all-gender Greek organization, was one of the best decisions she made in college.
“That’s just really nice for someone who’s a member of the LGBT community but didn’t really form that kind of sense of community until much later in my life,” Hamson said.
She said that through the organization, she has met people who share a lot of her interests and understand some of the struggles that she has been through.
Some of her worst experiences have been housing mishaps involving living arrangements with friends in houses or apartments off-campus. She said she has had issues with roommates borrowing her belongings and not returning them until she absolutely needed them.
“Both times, things got really messy and the boundaries of friendship kind of crossed with roommate boundaries,” Hamson said.
She would advise underclassmen to be careful about living with friends or people they know because being roommates can “seep into your personal relationships.”
“Really think about who you’re going to live with and what qualities you like about that person and also what you dislike,” she added. “Because those will all be amplified when you live with them.”
Similarly, junior journalism major Carm Saimbre has had housing mishaps when relying on friends. Her sophomore year, she and her roommate gave up a spot in Cumberland Hall for one in Queen Anne’s Hall in order to be on South Campus. However, her friend moved out in December, leaving her with a random roommate.
“To go through all that only to have the girl who made me move to South Campus into a dorm with no air conditioning, have her leave me, was just a slap in the face,” said Saimbre, who is a community assistant at Queen Anne’s Hall.
She said that her best decision was joining Terp Thon and becoming a part of the mini-marathons committee.
“I was looking for a way to kind of give back to the community because I know the community service plays a huge role into why I applied to Maryland,” Saimbre said.
One of her favorite experiences was working with a high schooler who started a walk for cancer and his own school. He was an inspiring and well-spoken person, Saimbre said.
“[Terp Thon] has been everything and more,” she said. “It has completely changed my perspective on life, given me a new appreciation for life, because you’re working with kids who are terminally ill…and they’re living life as if the world can’t stop them.”
Saimbre said she would encourage freshmen and sophomores to get involved in extracurriculars as early as possible, because she wishes she had been involved in Terp Thon sooner.
“These things are so involved with things that I hold dear to my heart, and I think that being involved with it for all four years would have been beneficial,” she said.