Berhaney Ayalew – University of Oregon

<b>Berhaney Ayalew</b> – University of Oregon

After graduating high school, Berhaney moved from Portland to Eugene to study architecture. As a creative person, this major provides him freedom and excitement.

University of Oregon, Class of 2022

Degree: Architecture

Architecture – The reason I chose it is because the amount of freedom, creativity, and excitement I have for this major convinced me that this was the right career for me. This is more than just a major for me. It’s life.


What did you think about college before you attended?

Mainly confused and curious about how I’m going to still be able to learn except that now I have to live on my own and take care of myself. I was worried how being alone could possibly make a negative impact on my learning.

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

Well, not having any clue about college and family not really knowing much either put me at a disadvantage. But then, I was able to use this disadvantage to be able to build connections with other people and chat about their experience in college. Being able to talk and ask questions to the right people helped me finish my first year strong.

What do you love about U of O?

The amount of support and resources I was able to use to elevate my knowledge even higher. Realizing that everyone is willing to help.

What is your favorite subject or class you’ve taken?

My Ethnic Studies class. It was interesting being able to learn more about historical ethnic people. It almost felt like I was in high school being surrounded by ethnic people and learning about important ethnic figures.

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

Realizing how much effort, ambition, and work it takes to succeed. Understanding the system of how learning works in a college environment.

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

It means a lot. Knowing that I was chosen because of the amount of potential I had to grow and succeed. Knowing that I received an opportunity and it was my job to take it and run with it.

Any advice for students applying for the Renaissance Scholars program?

Just apply. Knowing that every opportunity that’s given to you is there to take. So just take it. You never know how much support and help you get until you take the opportunity to apply. It was very worthwhile for me.