PHOTOS and VIDEO: Memories from the Class of 2023
‘I found a family here in Grand Forks,’ and other thoughts from UND grads who’ll be crossing the Commencement stage
Editor’s note: Recently, UND’s Videography team interviewed six graduating seniors about their experiences at the University. The video is above, and a photo of each senior along with selected quotes are below. Enjoy!
• “UND has always kind of pushed people to be leaders and to get involved here on campus. So I’ve had lots of different involvement on campus. I served as my sorority’s chief financial officer, and then with dance marathon, I’ve held three executive board positions. And so just with UND encouraging students to get involved and become leaders on campus, that definitely will help me in my future career, because I’ve gained a lot of valuable skills in those.”
• “Being from out of state, it kind of gets hard sometimes. Just because I’m far away from my family, I don’t get to go home as often. But I found a family here in Grand Forks, which has been really nice.”
Grand Forks, N.D.
Majors: English and Communication
• “I think within days of starting as a freshman, I just really felt — and I’ve continued to get this feeling internally, over the last four years — that this is exactly where I was supposed to be and exactly what I was supposed to be doing.”
• “But really, being in those classrooms for my first few weeks and then eventually the first few semesters at UND, I realized I can do this. Like, I am smart. I am intelligent. I’m capable. And then you start thinking, ‘Wow, what my parents and family have been saying for all these years: College is so different from high school. It really is true.’ ”
• “What it takes to be a college student; what it is like to take 15-plus credits a semester, while also managing a job, being in clubs or groups or organizations — you know, all of that has been surprising. But it’s taught me so much. And I think those learning experiences have been some of the best of my experiences as well, because without having that and liking those and learning from them, I wouldn’t be continuing on in my education.
“So I think in that way, Higher Ed has offered me a lot.”
Major: Mechanical Engineering
• “UND did a fantastic job helping me establish real-world skills as well as really pushing us, especially in the engineering program, to apply for internships and co-ops and really get that real world experience before we go into the workforce.”
• “One of my favorite classes was M.E. 200. We had to do a drone project in which we built a drone out of 3D-printed parts, and we had to design it as a team. And just having that competition was a lot of fun — competing against the other teams, as well as having extra professors and other students come in to watch and cheer everyone on. It was a really fun time.”
Major: Business management and marketing
• “What’s my advice for a freshman or someone who’s newly coming to UND? It’s patience. It is OK to take a second as you arrive to UND, see everything that there is, and to just kind of try things at your own pace.
“For me, I’m a ‘yes’ girl. I really just want to try this organization. I get invited to a finance club, and even though I’m not really interested in finance, I’ll go. I’ll experience it. because I want to see what it’s like, and I want to soak the college experience dry.
“I think I had such high expectations; and sometimes expectations don’t get met, and that is OK. You can find a new goal or a new expectation that you’re working for. And I think being patient and finding good people to surround yourself with, which there are tons of good people at UND. But finding those people will help you be patient and will help you see those opportunities, become a leader and to grow.
“Woo! That’s my advice.”
Seoul, South Korea
Major: Commercial Aviation
• “Freshmen year, living in the dorm and hanging out with my friends was one of my happiest memories. But one of the memorable ones is when I was working as a tour guide, I was able to give a lot of tours to prospective students; and when I saw that they actually came in as a freshman, as a UND student, that was one of my happiest memory. That I was able to, you know, open this welcoming environments to other people.”
• “I really enjoyed my four years here. I’m lucky that I was able to pick my favorite college at first. Not a lot of people do it that way. I was also able to pick the major that I really love and am enthusiastic about.”
Grand Forks, N.D.
Major: Business Management
• “What would I say to freshman Lauren on her first day? Maybe just, like, cut yourself some slack. It’s not that serious. I mean, it is that serious; but give yourself some grace. Like, it’s fine if you mess up, it happens.”
• “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and just try new things. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone some time. And college is a perfect time to do it because you’re meeting so many new people, and you’ve got to live life. And you’re only in college once.”