Sarah Bruemmer

Biological Sciences and Anthropology

What do you remember about your first semester at ASU?

In the beginning, I felt completely overwhelmed. I came to ASU knowing only a few acquaintances from high school. The professors were intimidating, the class sizes were large, and it was a big change living in the dorms. But as the semester went on, my fear grew into confidence and determination to make the most of my undergraduate years. I began to get to know my TAs and professors, applied for the SOLUR program, and made a lot of new friends.

What surprised you about ASU?

I was surprised by the amount of resources here. There are so many ways to get involved! I participated in SOLUR (School of Life Sciences Undergraduate Research program) and learned how to conduct research and design my own project, which is what I am currently doing. I was pleasantly surprised that my professors were genuinely interested in my success.

What was your favorite experience as a new student?

My favorite experience was definitely traveling abroad to Costa Rica and Peru. I traveled with a group of students and two professors from Barrett for a total of two months in South America. I took a Spanish immersion course, lived with a Costa Rican family, studied the complex histories of the two countries, and visited numerous national parks to learn about biodiversity and current conservation practices. It was an amazing experience!

What was your greatest challenge during that time?

My greatest challenge was simply adjusting to college life. I am an only child and am pretty close to my parents, so living alone in the dorms was a pretty drastic change. However, I think the easiest way to overcome being homesick is to get involved, meet new people, and take full advantage of what college has to offer.

What was the most important thing you learned during your first semester?

To realize that I can’t be perfect in everything, I have my strengths and weaknesses. I am a total perfectionist and when I received my first B ever, I felt extremely disappointed in myself. But I grew to understand that I tried my hardest, and that’s what matters.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to go to graduate school to earn degrees in conservation biology and wildlife management. My dream job would be to conduct research focused on the conservation of either African elephants or orangutans. 

Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

Get involved! There are so many opportunities at ASU, from clubs to school events to study abroad programs, there is something for everyone. College is the time to figure out who you are and what you want to do; explore your passions and truly learn what you want in life.