New UNM student Alison Harper was on her way to the First-Year Convocation ceremony when she agreed to give an idea of what her thoughts were about coming to college for the first time to Daily Lobo readers. This is Harper's top-five list of what she’s most looking forward to about college.

Studying what she’s passionate about

Oftentimes, high school limits the freedom of personalized academic pursuit in the interest of a more rounded degree overall. Because of this, high schoolers often don’t have more than a couple of electives each year; Harper is looking forward to that changing in college. As a student studying mechanical engineering at UNM, Harper is eager to try out the subject matter that she was unable to pursue in high school.

“I’ve always liked math and I just decided I like putting things together and figuring out engines,” Harper said.

Meeting new people

Even though she has a group of friends from high school that will be attending UNM alongside her, Harper is looking to expand that friend group and find more friends that have similar interests.

“We’re planning on joining (the Anime) Club together,” Harper said, explaining a potential opportunity for her and her current friend group to find others that share their passions.

Harper said her interest in meeting like-minded people also extends to her peers in the engineering department. This is a completely new area for Harper, so she’s looking forward to meeting others that are also interested in her line of academics.

Sleep, sleep and sleep

College students are notorious for taking advantage of every second they can to squeeze in a nap. Abandoning the early-morning schedule of high school will give Harper more time to do just that.

As opposed to waking up at six or seven in the morning for high school, Harper will now be able to arrange her sleep schedule based off of a class schedule that she created. Because of this, she won’t have to wake up until shortly before her classes for the day start — one of the best parts about the transition from high school to college!

Being Punctual 

A big problem many students face is getting to their homework on time, and while Harper knows the struggle all too well, she said she’s eager to change that at UNM. Working on her own study habits made this top-five list, and she hopes to improve her school routine at UNM.

“I just want to be more punctual,” Harper said. “I’m used to procrastination.”

Harper wants to adapt her study habits to get more in the swing of academics as the semester starts so that she’s able to manage her classes in an organized and efficient manner for the rest of the semester.

More Free Time

High school was a busy time for everyone, and Harper was in that boat as well. Now, however, Harper’s afternoon-heavy classes at UNM will give her a chance to fit in some hobbies she didn’t have time for before.

Even though her mechanical engineering major is fairly demanding, Harper is confident that she’ll have more time for personal activities, like the Anime Club, than she did in high school because she isn’t planning on pursuing a minor.

Starting college is an exciting time for everyone; especially after over a year and a half of online school, students like Harper are even more eager to come back to a (somewhat) normal learning environment. 

Emma Trevino is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @itsemmatr