Photo by Folasade Sabitu

This is Allison Olfers. She is a junior and a public health major. She is passionate about helping others and sharing her knowledge with other students on this campus. This is her story.

I am from San Antonio and being around family combined with university life was something I looked forward to. Secondary to that, the public health program here is exquisite. It has great programs: including the master’s program that I am currently applying to. The academic rigor of the university and proximity to my family are the main reasons why I came to UTSA.

I like the diversity of UTSA. I’ve met a lot of people I don’t think I would have met in any other situation. The people that I’ve met have enlightened and broadened my horizons to possible career paths and intellectual possibilities. The diversity of UTSA have definitely been my favorite part of the university. I think UTSA should be more focused on students. They need to be more attentive to what the students want from their campus and professors. They need to listen more to what we need in terms of expansions, class hours, financial aid, and accommodations for our diverse groups. UTSA is notorious for its status as a first-generation and Hispanic serving institution, but there is not much action going towards them. They definitely need to expand their support to the students and listen to us.

Meeting other passionate people really excites me. I vibe with people who are passionate about their passions which can include sports or majors. I’m passionate about helping people of different cultures and backgrounds. I want to emphasize that privilege is a real thing and enlighten this issue to people in privileged positions to expand their knowledge in the same way that I have. In high school, I picked up exercising and lost about 20 pounds. Along with that came an eating disorder and bad mental health habits. Even though others thought positively about me because of societal standards, I started to think negatively about myself. That got me thinking about how I viewed myself and how others viewed me. In that span of two years, I learned and grew both my physical and mental health. That was a big time in my life, and I wouldn’t have the mental state or confidence that I have today without going through those experiences. I call it my fitness journey. I’ve met a lot of cool people through working out, I’ve figured out what I like and what I don’t, and I’ve been able to guide others through their journeys as well.

To be a roadrunner means to collaborate with other people and to work together as a team. The biggest thing that I’ve learned at UTSA is to use your resources and utilize the people who can bring you to a higher position. Networking is the buzzword for college, but its also important to utilize those different perspectives that people have. People are so helpful and willing to work with you and the professors do an excellent job collaborating and understanding your position, but, as an institution, we still need to work on that. We need to make sure that everything comes together, and that is what I’ve seen throughout UTSA.

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