Scholars Speak: Guest Blog by Forman Scholar Katie Ridgway

Katie Ridgway shares her thoughts to our Scholars Speak student blog series. Katie is a junior at Rowan University, where she is studying education. 

Read on to hear about Katie’s college experiences, the advice she has for applying to college and the importance she places on making time for yourself. 

What does pursuing a college degree mean to you?  

It means I will be able to pursue something I enjoy doing. It will also allow me to kickstart a career and provide for myself and my future family. 

What’s something you didn’t know during your first year in college that you wish you knew?  

Try to find a go-to spot on campus, wherever you are, to study, relax and get away from the craziness of college life, at least for a little while. 

What is your most memorable academic moment from your time in college? 

I’ve learned that, although it’s important to devote plenty of time to studying for exams, it’s also important to relax every so often. Making time for yourself and balancing your academic and personal lives will be crucial to your success. 

Tell us a time when you overcame a challenge. 

In my first semester, I struggled to find my place on campus. I realized that you have to get out of your comfort zone to join organizations and meet new people. A core group of friends will push you and encourage you to get more involved in campus activities. 

For people who may not know about the Foundation, what role has the Foundation played in your educational journey?  

The Foundation has played an enormous role in my educational journey. It has helped me with all of my expenses, and it has always been there to answer questions and offer advice.

As someone who grew up in either Salem or the Salem area, how has your community shaped your upbringing, and what do you think is needed to ensure the best future for Salem? 

Growing up in Salem, I knew almost everybody. When I transitioned to college, I quickly felt like a little fish in a big pond. Salem is a close-knit community that shaped me into a friendly person that cares for others around me. 

If you had to give one piece of advice to a student who is applying for college, what would it be and why?  

Take your time during the application process and make sure you include any and all organizations and/or activities you were involved in to demonstrate how well-rounded of an individual you are. Craft your essay so that each college you apply to can get a sense of who you are as a person; write as if you are speaking directly to them.