People always say that college will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life, but I never really bought into that ideal before coming to Warnell. If I had been told a year ago that I would fly to New Mexico, see snow in the summer, or win National TWS quiz bowl, I wouldn’t have believed it. Those just aren’t things that most college students are able to experience, and certainly not in the middle of a school week in September. However, Warnell is different. Warnell has opened a seemingly unlimited number of doors for me and every other student I know.
One of the best things about Warnell is its superb connection to, and support of, professional organizations in natural resources. This connection fosters an environment in which students are encouraged to attend conferences. The word “conference” might bring to mind a boring congregation of business people, droning on about who knows what. The important thing to remember though is that the conference I am referring to was a wildlife conference, so excuse the pun, but it was wild! There were an amazing amount of field trips, exciting exhibits and displays, fascinating new wildlife research, and perhaps best of all, opportunities to network with the same professionals that will one day work over, under, or with you.
I cannot overstate the importance of taking advantage of every opportunity possible to attend conferences. Not only will you be able to network and make friends with individuals with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, but it will genuinely make you a better and more well-rounded individual. You will be exposed to new ideas that grow your character. You will see amazing sights that you never would have otherwise. You will establish traditions that are revisited every year. Hopefully, as I did, you will love every single second of it.