As the end of the spring semester approaches, soon-to-be graduates are looking back at their time at Kansas State.
Caleb Amundson, senior in interior architecture and product design, said he initially chose K-State because of the people.
“I knew I wanted to study something creative,” Amundson said. “I went to visit an art school in Chicago that I was dead set on at the time, but the visit left a weird taste in my mouth — I just didn’t click with the people. So when six of my seven friends decided to head to K-State, I agreed to give it a year and figure out where I saw myself long term.”
Five years later, Amundson said his overinvolvement in his first few years was not as fulfilling as he would have imagined.
“My first two years I was involved in anything and everything because I’m a yes man,” Amundson said. “It was honestly really unfulfilling. As the adage goes, I was shallowly involved in everything, which prevented me from being involved in anything.”
Amundson said he went on to learn from his mistake and decided to commit his time to school and his church community.
Karly Frederick, senior in agribusiness, said she first came to K-State to experience something different.
“I went to a high school that didn’t have an ag program at all, so I knew I wanted to see what that looked like in the form of learning,” Frederick said. “I remember my very first class on Monday morning was Crop Science, and I had this ‘aha’ moment that we are actually learning about agriculture, and there is actually a formal learning process, and that was really cool to me. Why would you leave something so good?”
Frederick said she found an organization she loved during her collegiate years.
“I really found my community within Ag Ambassadors,” Frederick said. “I really enjoyed that there were students helping kids like I was in high school figure out what they want to do. That’s where I plunged in deep with involvement.”
Andrew Snodgrass, senior in family studies and human services, said he came to K-State because of the Manhattan community, but stayed because of the great times he had.
“I enjoy Manhattan for the most part,” Snodgrass said. “It’s a quaint little town. But one of my favorite memories was two springs ago when we put on a rock ‘n’ roll concert called Burgerstock. We cooked a ton of burgers in the backyard, got a sound permit and had a drone taking video footage.”
Snodgrass said he continued through with college to “make (his) momma proud.”
Throughout college, Amundson, Frederick and Snodgrass said they learned about themselves alongside learning within classes.
“College, and K-State specifically, has challenged me to stop assuming,” Amundson said. “I deeply believe that my professors, peers, church community and even the greater Manhattan community have all provided space and encouragement to appreciate where I’ve come from and how it’s shaped me.”
Amundson said he learned to appreciate the values he discovered while at K-State.
“I’ve learned that learning isn’t the end all be all, but that knowledge can become wisdom only when you apply it to your own life,” Amundson said. “And that is a lesson that no amount of money can pay for.”
Frederick said the diversity of college taught her about who she was as a person.
“Your decisions really do make you who you are, and that really helped me to see what makes me, me,” Frederick said. “College has helped me to realize the things that I actually value.”
Snodgrass said he learned to be open to new people and experiences.
“I learned a decent amount about open-mindedness to new people and people from different backgrounds,” Snodgrass said. “It makes the potential of meeting new people more of a positive thing than a scary thing and to not take people for face value.”