Lauren Longobardi calls second year “the make it or break it” year. For her, it’s when school became intense and expectations were ratcheted up. At the same time, it’s when she discovered that she was in her element studying chemistry.
“Going from high school to university was not as hard for me,” she muses. “In first year, everyone’s helping you along; there are steps to show you where you are going. But second year’s when you take charge of your own education ... second year is definitely an exercise in time management.”
The professors helped create a chemical reaction: turning an interest into a passion. “I love the professors in the chemistry department; I really do. They go above and beyond to make sure you succeed.”
A stellar student, Ms. Longobardi has been well supported during her undergraduate years. She came to Dalhousie on a Chancellor’s entrance scholarship and has made the dean’s list every year. As well, her amazing aptitude for chemistry has been recognized with the CRC Press Freshman Achievement Award in first year, the Knop Prize in Chemistry in second year and the Canadian Society for Chemistry Silver Medal in third year.
But it’s not all study, study, study for Ms. Longobardi. From Fall River, she lived in residence, Sherriff Hall, for her first and second years and recommends it, even for Nova Scotian students who’ve grown up close by. “You’ll meet the best friends you’ll ever have, living in residence,” she says. She keeps active by taking classes with the Dal Dance Society and volunteers, most recently as a Sparks leader with Girl Guides of Canada.
Having written her last exam at Dal, it’s a strange time in her life, as she bids goodbye to close friends as they disperse to take up jobs, travel or embark on graduate degrees. She herself is preparing to start her PhD at the University of Toronto.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” says the 21-year-old aspiring professor. “Those four years flew by.”
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