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Karla Cordova Nicolas

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Pacific University, Class of 2020

Public Health

What did you think about college before you attended?

I thought the courses would be incredibly demanding. What I’ve experienced so far is a course load that is very specific to my major. All the classes connect and lead into the other, which greatly helps me understand the bigger picture.

How do you think being a first generation student has affected your college experience?

I think it is difficult because of my financial situation. I have suffered a lot of setbacks this year in particular and I hoped to get back to it soon. Looking back, I see that although I didn’t feel as prepared as others were, there was a lot of staff and classmates willing to provide resources for me.

What do you love about Pacific?

I love the people. I especially love how small the campus is and that I can feel comfortable being there.

What has been the most impactful experience during your time in college?

The most impactful experience during college has to be living on campus at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Nobody knew what was going to happen once many of us returned home. I stayed on campus, and I have to say it was an odd transition to online classes. I felt like it was the perfect example of how driven every one of my classmates was to graduate. It was touching to see my teachers put so much effort into making the transition easier for us as well. Even though we didn’t get to hold a graduation ceremony, I know we accomplished something great.

What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Renaissance Scholar?

I feel honored to have been chosen, and without their financial support, I doubt I would still be attending college. I’m motivated to succeed and have accomplished even more this year just as I know I will next year.

Are you a Renaissance Scholar? Current scholars and alumni can share their stories here. 

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