(Photo used by permission of Amy Hoddick)
Ryan Hoddick, ’15, (center, pictured with two of his roommates, at left, and friends) attends the University of Nevada, Reno, where he majors in business.

Find out what the members of the class of 2015 are up to in their first year of college. A college freshman is featured in the Freshman Focus every week.

Freshman Ryan Hoddick, ‘15, is majoring in business at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I started off in pre-nursing, but I swapped to business. After a while I realized that I didn’t want to do nursing. The long work hours and lack of flexibility was not worth it. In business, I can still work with people, but the schedule will be more open for me. So now for my business major I am taking Communications, Core Humanities, Music Appreciation, Applied Statistics 270, and Women’s Studies.

Q: What’s your favorite class?

A: Communications is the most interesting. It breaks talking down into a science: what (it takes) to listen, making someone a good listener, a good public speaker, storing knowledge from conversation.

Q: Your least favorite?

A: Math, which is also my hardest. I took Math 126 online during the winter, but right now statistics is proving to be just as difficult. It’s not very fun. I haven’t really enjoyed math since (SCDS math teacher Patricia) Jacobsen.

Q: What has UNR done to help you?

A: They have a very good student-run tutoring center called the Nevada Living Learning Community (LLC). There are stats majors and calc majors there to help us. There is also always a teacher on duty.

Q: Any extracurriculars?

A: I tried looking for hockey, but since there’s no ice, there is just a hockey club.

I’m looking to get into the chess club. (Also) I play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with four other guys that I’ve gotten to know pretty well.

Q: What exactly do you do when you play Counter-Strike?

A: We practice every day, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Every time a tournament comes around we get to travel around and face these other teams. We just played the best team in North America and lost.

Q: How is the student life?

A: I was awkward in high school. But in college, socializing comes to you. You never have to look for anyone.

The people here are also great, and I haven’t met anyone who is mean or anything.

Q: How is the dorm life?

A: At first, I was terrified, but now I love my roommate.  

I live with three other guys who are all majoring in pre-nursing. On our entire floor there are pre-nursing majors, so we’re the only guys on the whole floor.

Each dorm has three rooms, and in my room there are two of us. I have become good friends with everyone in my dorm.

My parents were the people who shoved me into a dorm and decided that I should be there. For someone like me, who was shy in high school, you should totally go into a dorm. You learn a lot about yourself. I learned that I am not as introverted as I thought I was back in high school.

Q: How’s the food?

A: It’s actually really, really good. The café is where everyone eats. There’s an area of dorm buildings called Argenta Hall, and at the bottom of that one is the cafeteria.

There are huge TVs to watch sports, and they make fantastic food. Then, since they close at 10 p.m., the little cafe closes at 1 a.m. Also in (Argenta) there is a Panda Express, Starbucks and a really good sub shop.

Q: How’s the weather?

A: It depends on your taste. I never knew what it was like to have seasons, and when I got here, I was really excited for the cold. In the fall semester, it was in the low 90’s, but as soon as winter came, there was a lot of snow.

The only time I’ve had snow was when I went to France. If you like seasons, you’ll like the weather. I got what I wanted, but I will say that the snow sucks. It got old quickly.

Q: What is there to do in town?

A: There are a lot of good restaurants. Sometimes there are events, like concerts and races, that are right near the university.

Q: What makes UNR special?

A: At orientation, three-fifths of the students had Nevada gear on. Everyone here loves the university and loves being a part of the Wolf Pack, and we have a huge rivalry against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, too, so it makes us feel like we are a part of something.

Q: What led you to choose UNR?

A: I planned on going to (school in North Carolina). (But) I was convinced by my parents and (college counselor Jane) Bauman to give other non-East-Coast schools a try. And when I came here, I loved it.

Also the (nursing school) here is ranked very highly, and when I first came, I was completely set on becoming a nurse.

Q: Any advice?

A: Keep your eyes open. Even if you think you have the right answer, you might be wrong in high school – or even in college. And that’s all right. You can always fix your mistakes and make better decisions. And you will always have to.

—By Chardonnay Needler

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