Saturday, May 26, 2018

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Nicole Atkins said her favorite thing about being an Aztec is sharing a great sense of pride for her school. (Photo: Madeleine Schwarz) Nicole Atkins said her favorite thing about being an Aztec is sharing a great sense of pride for her school. (Photo: Madeleine Schwarz)

Nicole Atkins’ Aztec Experience

This Aztec is involved in several organizations on campus, including the Psychology Club and Aztec Dance Marathon.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Nicole Atkins
Major (and minor): Psychology
Campus affiliations: Delta Gamma Sorority, Psychology Club, Aztec Dance Marathon, Psychology Undergraduate Peer Advising

1. Why did you choose San Diego State University?

I chose San Diego State University because I could see myself being very happy here. I wanted to challenge myself and attend a larger school in order to gain a better understanding of myself and pursue my passions in a lively, competitive environment. Not to mention the campus is so beautiful and only minutes away from the ocean.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?

I have always been fascinated by human interaction and behavior. It started when I read “Lord of the Flies” my freshman year of high school. Literature, coupled with my love for film, inspired to me to take AP Psychology. Learning about influential experiments and studies made me fall in love with psychology. I love my major because it is so relevant to every aspect of life, and I enjoy applying what I have learned to all that I do.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I have received is, "You are your choices.” Growing up, my dad has always had strong morals and values, and made sure to instill a sense of these values in me. I feel that this advice is something that guides my life because a person’s choices are a strong reflection of one’s true character. A person’s actions define them, and that is why I try and think about the consequences of my actions and take time before making any decision.

4. Which SDSU faculty or staff member has been the most influential throughout your SDSU journey?

Shawna Saponjic has been very influential throughout my SDSU journey. I took her Personality of Psychology class last semester, and I am now enrolled in her Abnormal Psychology course. I really enjoy her teaching style, and she has opened up my eyes to many different paths of psychology to pursue. Her passion and dedication to her students is very encouraging to see, and I really admire that in her.

5. What does student success mean to you?

The definition of student success is unique to different people. To me, it means that a student has gone above and beyond to pursue one’s interests and passions. Students are successful in the sense that they are thriving by doing what makes them happy and inspired to learn more  about themselves and the world around them.

6. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?

An experience that has changed my life the most at SDSU was participating in Aztec Dance Marathon for the first time last year. I felt an overwhelming sense of energy and pride for my school dancing alongside my fellow Aztecs for the kids at Rady Children’s Hospital. To see so many students from difference organizations come together by our love for the kids made me feel so connected to this campus and the people. It was a feeling I will never forget, and ultimately inspired me to join the ADM board this year.

7. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?

My proudest achievement while at SDSU so far has been getting involved in a variety of organizations, all of which have contributed to my personal development as well as a growing sense of pride for this school. Joining these organizations, Delta Gamma, in particular, has instilled a sense of confidence allowing me to discover all that SDSU has to offer. I have made so many amazing friends that have made my time at SDSU far more enjoyable.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself staying in San Diego after graduation and attending graduate school for psychology. I hope to be living right by the beach with the friends that I have made during my undergraduate career. Even if the future is unknown, I can say with confidence that the many experiences I have had as an Aztec will greatly prepare me for my future.

9. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?

My favorite thing about being an Aztec is sharing a great sense of pride for my school and all of its amazing accomplishments with my peers and family members. SDSU is a huge community and despite the campus’ overall size, I never go a day without seeing a friendly face. Going back home to the Bay Area, I always make sure to wear my SDSU apparel and people always love to comment on how great the school is or reminisce on their days at SDSU. I love having that bond of sharing such great memories and appreciating how great this school is with fellow Aztecs.