Coming to UConn has been one of the greatest experiences in my life. Animal science has meant the world to me since I was 5 years old so when I got accepted into UConn I was very excited. However, as a young freshman I did not know exactly what this major was all about. I knew I was going to be learning about animals, anatomy, nutrition, etc. but I never knew that I was going to have the opportunity to start hands-on experience right away.
When I started my journey in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture two years ago, I had the opportunity to work a lot with animals through some independent studies. My freshman year, I also took an intro to ANSC course where I had to pick an animal to train. I was assigned a horse, which I thought would be amazing since I have never worked with horses before so I thought it would be a great opportunity to start learning about horses my first semester in college.
My first day training my horse, Tamale, was fun. I remember I groomed her that day, but when I was about to leave she stepped on my toe and it was one of the most painful things in the world. I couldn’t walk or stand on that toe for a while. At the time I did not know how to take the bus so I walked to all my classes on crutches. However, if it wasn’t for my little accident with the horse, I would not have been reassigned to a chicken, where I won first place in the Poultry advance category at Little I. My sophomore year, I had another unfortunate experience while working with the cows, I was kicked by one of them while I tried to walk them at the barn.
Even though I have had a few unfortunate experiences, I love my major. I love hearing the phrase: “we are going to the barn today” because just being with the animals I feel like I’m not only learning a lot about them but I’m having fun as well. The barns might be far and buses are for sure my best friends (now that I know how to use them) but at the end of the day it is all about the dedication you put into the things you love.
I graduated from the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture with my associate’s degree in Animal Science last May and now I am in the bachelor’s degree program in CAHNR. Although I am a junior, I feel like I still have lots of things to discover. Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new and I don’t take that for granted. Coming from a different country has taught me to appreciate things more, make the most of it, not give up on my dreams easily and fight for the things I want.