Larissa Strunk

Larissa Strunk. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

Bachelor’s in secondary education

Hometown: Quinhagak

What words of advice do you have for seniors in high school right now?

Make sure you are keeping up with your classes and have future plans. It is important to get more education, whether it’s going to college, a vocational/technical school or training. It’s also important to do what you love to do, so keep that in mind when you are making your plans.

Who was one person you’d suggest students connect with to get advice and assistance?

I would suggest going to family and friends that you know who have gone to college. Rural Student Services is also a great place to get advice and assistance. There will always be someone there who you can talk to about things.

What’s one thing you wish you were told before coming to college?

I wish someone told me how much freedom I was going to have, almost too much freedom. You learn a lot about time management. Also, instead of wasting all your free time on Netflix, video games and socializing, use your time on studying and homework. Look at your class schedule and set time aside for homework.

Do you have any advice or suggestions about financial aid?

Look into a bunch of scholarships and apply for as many as you can. Keep your grades up because a lot of the time your GPA is what determines how much money you will get. When you’re looking for people to write recommendation letters for you, let them know ahead of time so that the people who are writing them have a lot of time to put more effort into them. Another suggestion is when you are writing your scholarship essays, have other people look at them to help edit and make sure you are actually writing what the scholarship is looking for.

What is your reason for continuing your education? Why are you a student?

My reason for continuing my education is so that I can become a teacher and help more students from rural Alaska to also further their education. I want to learn more so I can teach students more.

How do you suggest students overcome roadblocks or any challenges they face along the way?

I would suggest being around and talking to friends or family. They’ll help remind you and motivate you to keep with your education. Listen to motivational speeches on YouTube or something. Think about the big picture and what you want to take away from getting your education.

What are some things you did that helped you prepare for college?

I participated in many clubs, sports and any other extracurricular activities. I challenged myself and took harder classes in high school. I attended the Rural Alaska Honors Institute. I talked to my friends and family who went to college and asked them what I should be prepared for.