Charles Thomas, ’20, attends online classes at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. He is majoring in pre-pharmacy.
Q: Why did you choose your college and major?
A: It came down to having a really good pre-pharmacy program. Me being able to get out in five years as a Ph.D. and already start getting to work was promising to me, and I also love the community that the University of the Pacific fosters when I visited campus. I visited three times, and each time, there was more and more to like about the campus and more and more to like about the community. It’s really just a place that I love to be at.
Q: Are there any clubs you are in or are interested to join?
A: There are certain clubs that are meeting on Zoom and stuff. We still have Greek life and everything too, but personally, I’m not participating in those in the applied environment.
Q: How has the pandemic affected you and your classes?
A: It was definitely a challenge. It’s a lot being on the computer for anywhere between three to eight hours a day just in class. And I know it gave a lot of study time, just not having to be in class or be on campus or anything, but also with everything being shut down, there’s not much to do. I feel like it gave me more of a drive toward school and other passions that I wanted to pursue. And it’s been eye-opening this past year.
Q: How are your professors over remote learning?
A: It’s actually been really great. I’ve had really great professors the first semester and am hoping to enjoy my professors in the second-semester classes. It’s actually a really close-knit community, even online. My professors are always open, for office hours and things like that. So they’re really looking to make connections with the students and personalize the experience even though it’s online.
Q: How was your transition from Country Day to college?
A: I think Country Day prepared me very well for college. I think this is held by a lot of college students right now that don’t really feel that college transition. At least for the few of us that are doing distance learning and not actually being able to go on campus the transition itself wasn’t that difficult. I really couldn’t imagine a better school than Country Day to prepare me for pursuing higher education.
Q: What have you done for fun during the pandemic?
A: I do a lot of self-studying. I am pursuing a lot of things such as finance and real estate. I took up going to the gym six times a week. And, yeah, that’s pretty much it. And I listen to a lot of music. I also play with my dogs, play charades with my family, tag and hide-and-go-seek with my niece.
Q: Have you ever made freshman mistakes that should be known?
A: Not really. The only thing that caught me off guard was not paying attention to directions in certain classes because these college rubrics can get pretty detailed and can impact your grades.
Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2021? A: Don’t confine yourself to anything, and always chase your dreams, really. I know it sounds cliche but do what you want to do. The most limited resource you have is time, so don’t waste it. Do what you want to do, enjoy what you’re doing. I know it’s always nice to find a niche in life, but really try to make the best of your college experience and get involved.