What’s new with past first-year vloggers?

For Jazmin Garcia, it seems like only yesterday she was shooting a second of video every day for her first days on campus.

“So much has happened since then, but I still remember the feeling of being a first-year student,” Garcia said. “I’m glad I can look on those memories.”

Below, Garcia and the other students who have participated in our one-second-a-day video project in 2017 and 2018 share how life has changed since they shot their videos.

Junior Jazmin Garcia

Garcia (left) with fellow McLeod Scholars Rob Hall and Carol Pazos. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Garcia arrived here with plans to ultimately be a doctor. That goal has not changed, but her  major has.   

“At first I was PNP (philosophy-neuroscience-psychology) and then I took a philosophy class and decided that’s probably not the best thing for me,” Garcia recalled. “Then it was psychology. But then I took the global health class with Professor (Peter) Benson (associate professor of sociocultural anthropology in Arts & Sciences), and everything clicked,” Garcia said. “I liked how the global health explored medical topics in a more people-based way. It’s not just about learning facts that have been proven but thinking hard about all of the questions and uncertainties in medicine.” 

Watch Garcias video here.

Sjarfi is a veteran member of the Ultimate Frisbee Club after signing up on a whim (Photo courtesy of Sjarfi)

Junior Astrella Sjarfi

Sjarfi moved off campus this year with a group of friends. The upside — a kitchen and plenty of privacy. But there is a downside, too. 

“No more waking up 10 minutes before class,” said Sjarfi, who is studying economics in Arts & Sciences and is considering a second major in political science. “There’s so many little things, like arranging who is cleaning when and planning what you’re going to eat for the whole week. But it’s been really fun exploring different grocery stores across the city. Living with my really close friends has been one of my best college experiences.”

Sjarfi also is now a leader for the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Club, which she joined on a whim at her first-year activities fair. She also recently joined Thyrsus, the student  experimental theater group.

“I always wanted to do that but was afraid too, but I decided it was time for me to take part and I really like it,” Sjarfi said.

Watch Sjarfis video here.

Junior Tim Tague

Tague, playing against North Central Illinois University,  is quarterback for the Bears football team and a pitcher for the baseball team. (Photo: Washington University Athletics)

Tague, a member of the Bears football and baseball teams, is enjoying his role as a team leader. 

“Looking back to my time as a freshman, there were guys who were intimidating and guys who I looked up to and made me feel comfortable and that I belonged,” said Tague, who is majoring in systems engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering and minoring in the business of sports at Olin Business School. “I’m trying to be that guy — someone who is approachable and can be there for freshmen with questions.”

Watch Tagues video here.

Sophomore Ella Homan

Homan will return to campus in the spring. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Homan took a leave of absence from her studies and plans to return to her studies next semester. In her time away, she volunteered, worked as a camp counselor and took classes at Harris-Stowe State University in urban studies. 

“I was very prepared for the academic work because of my time in the College Prep Program, but I hadn’t done the self-checking that is necessary in college,” said Homan, who now wants to focus her studies on community development in St. Louis. “You have to take care of yourself. So I’ve been learning a lot about myself and what matters to me and what doesn’t. I feel lucky that I had so much support here to have the time and space to figure it out.” 

Watch Holmans video here

Sophomore Marissa Kalkar

Kalkar is a forward on the women’s soccer team. (Photo: Washington University Athletics)

Sophomore Marissa Kalkar will not be a doctor. And she’s good with that.

“After taking chem, I knew  medical school wouldn’t be for me,” said Kalkar, who is also a forward on the women’s soccer team. “But it wasn’t upsetting. It actually was freeing. I would have been disappointed if I didn’t try. Now I’m really excited about studying computer science. I love the problem-solving aspect of it. The feeling of getting your code to work is the best feeling.”

Watch Kalkars video here.

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