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The Antelope

Larsen reminisces, makes post-grad plans


English major reflects on her time on campus

Amanda Demilt

Antelope Staff

Senior Shelby Larsen says writing has been her passion since the seventh grade. “And I’ve always loved reading. I love being able to share my thoughts and passions with other people. Writing is the best way that I can do that.”

She says here at UNK she has followed that passion and advises others to do the same.

Though she considered Hastings College, Larsen said she was interested in the writing emphasis for the English major, which was very important to her. “My final decisions came down to location and cost, but I’m very glad that I decided on UNK.”

Now, she is a UNK senior majoring in English with a writing emphasis and a minor in journalism. The 2014 graduate from Minden High School is anticipating college graduation in May 2018.

Q. What made you decide to attend UNK?

A. UNK was not my first choice; however, here and Hastings College were the only two colleges

Q. Did you work through college? If so, how did you juggle classes, homework and a job?

A. I’ve had several jobs through my college career. I’ve worked two on-campus jobs: desk worker in URS and writing tutor in the writing center, which is my current job.

I’ve also had two off-campus jobs: front desk clerk at a motel and a morning stocker at Menards. The hardest job to handle while also going to school was the Menards job because I had to be at work at 4 a.m. and then I would head to school after work. I had to learn to manage my time well, spend more time in the library and go to bed a decent hour.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about college?

A. I love the people I’ve met here: my friends, classmates and professors. I loved living in the dorms my freshman year, and I love my two roommates from that year and still catch up with them often.

My experience in the English department has been amazing, and I’ve honestly enjoyed so many of my English classes. I have had so many opportunities to work on and promote my writing: conferences, Carillon publications and the Honors Program’s short story contest. I am also applying for student research for next semester.

Q. What was your least favorite part of college?

A. I can handle 8 a.m. classes, but I would much rather go without them. Also, I wish that I could spend more of my credit hours in writing classes; however, I can’t complain too much because I have taken several.

Q. What clubs or extra-curricular activities are you involved in?

A. I’m in the Honors Program. I’m a part of UNK’s Queer Straight Alliance group, where I’ve met some incredible people and made some fantastic friends.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. I wish I knew the answer to this question because I get asked several times a week now. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do after graduation or where I’m going to go. What I do know is that I want to be writing. I don’t know if that means that I’m writing for some magazine or working full-time in retail so I can afford to go home and write for myself and try to get published.

Q. Is there any advice you would give to the upcoming seniors?

A. Everyone is going to continually ask you what your plans are after graduation; it’s OK if you don’t know. If a great opportunity presents itself though, don’t hesitate to take it.

Q. What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

A. Don’t overextend yourself. Instead of spreading yourself thin over six clubs or activities on top of your classes and a job, find your passion and dedicate your extra time to that.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A. I don’t really know where I’ll be in 10 years. I hope that I will have left the Kearney area and found a job that I love and that can support me. Ideally, I would be publishing work in literary journals regularly and possibly writing or editing for a magazine or newspaper. If I’m writing about something I’m passionate about, I know I’ll be happy with my work.

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