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Nancy Mejia-Arias

Graduation - Spring 2016


The Beginning

When I first came to campus, I was initially Undeclared. I was really interested in Business but after looking into the requirements and realizing that business would not make me happy, I explored other options, like Psychology, Sociology, and other majors that involved working with people.


Advice for undeclared students

For all those who are undeclared, don't be ashamed, or worried that you will not find what your true passion is, because your day will come. It is perfectly normal to not know what to major in. Remember that you have a lot of time to figure out what to do for the rest of your life, you do not have to decide right away when you graduate high school at the age of 19. If you are undeclared, I recommend you participate in Key Communities. It is a great opportunity to meet lifelong friends and people who are just like you, undeclared and exploring their options. I was specifically in Key Explore, which allowed me to search for the right major for me. Also if you are a first generation student like me, you should look into the many scholarships that First Generation students are eligible for.


How did you pick your major?-I picked this major because I want to help students in higher education, as well as students in general. I love interacting with families and with students, and I want to have a job that I can do both.


Finding your major

The major that I decided to declare is Human Development and Family Studies. When I was a junior in high school I participated in a pre-collegiate program, and ever since that program I always wanted to be involved with the program itself outside of being a participant. I really want to work in an organization like pre collegiate that gives students the opportunity to see college in their future. I also decided to minor in Ethnic Studies because I was really interested in some of my own background as well as other Ethnic diverse people.


Roadbump(s): A road block that I had was the challenge of being the first in my family to go away from home to college. It was really hard to balance both my new life here in Fort Collins, and then still try to be in the loop of things back home in Denver. After my freshman year I was really considering transferring to a college closer to home. I consider myself an introverted person so making real friends that I can trust, is hard. I luckily found a Sorority that helped me find a home away from home.


Turning Point: My turning point was after I took an economics class. I thought I really wanted to do something in the business field, but after that one class, I did not find joy in learning about economics. I knew that business was not the fit for me because after taking a few classes of HDFS I really loved learning about the way people develop and how I grew up to the person I am now.


My Major: I really enjoy being in my major, mainly because everyone in HDFS is super friendly and approachable, and that is exactly how everyone in that major should be. I think that I fit in well because just like everyone else, I want to help people in some sort of way.


Favorite Professor, advisor, staff member: My favorite professor is not in my major, but he is actually in the Ethnics Studies department. His name is Eric Ishiwata. The reason he is my favorite is because he is very passionate in having his students get something out of his class, other than just receiving a good letter grade he goes that extra length to make sure that everyone is understanding his concepts. He not only makes sure you are learning but he also pushes you to do your very best.

I have had many advisors here at CSU. It is really hard to narrow it down, but two that I go to the most for my accomplishments and anything I need is Demetrios Godenitz and Barb Musslewhite. Demetrios was my first advisor as an undeclared freshman and he really helped me figure out what major to declare. Barb was never directly my advisor but I would go to her because she works with first generation students, and I was able to feel comfortable. She is truly someone I aspire to be when I grow up.


Most surprising class\Most rewarding class

The most surprising class that I took was probably my very first HDFS class. It was surprising just because I was a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect in college, and when I first walked in, it was in the largest lecture hall I have ever been in. After time passed I really liked that class even though it was overwhelmingly huge!


I believe that all the classes that I have taken have been all rewarding just because I can say that I have been in college and not all my friends from high school can say the same thing. I’m also a first generations student so it is an honor to be sitting in a college level class. 


Outside the classroom

Clubs and organizations: I’m a sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc.

I participate in the Academic Advancement Center. I also was in the Key Communities, Key Explore.


Internships and research: I'm a mentor at Campus Corps [a great opportunity to work with and support youth]. In the past I have participated in Reach Out, as well as Dream Project.