Sarah Potts is embarking upon the next chapter of her life and beginning her freshman year at the University of North Texas in Denton, while college senior Garrett Shuffield is nearing the end of his undergraduate journey at The University of Texas at Austin. Both are in very different stages of college life but look enthusiastically ahead to what lies before them. Potts and Shuffield tell of their experiences that brought them to this moment and of personal goals they hope to one day accomplish.
Sarah Potts has big plans to attend the University of North Texas in Denton this fall. She will major in biology and hopes to make her way to medical school following graduation 2020. Excited yet nervous to take on life after high school, Potts is looking forward to the unknown experiences her freshman year will bring.
“I think I will change my major simply because I’m not too sure of the one I have now,” Potts said, “everyone I’ve talked to about picking a major told me to be open about the possibility of changing it and to focus on finding what I love.”
Graduating from a charter high school in Houston, Texas, Houston Academy for International Studies, Potts left high school in May 2017 with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree.
On how she feels about being her own for the first time, Potts felt more eagerness than apprehension.
“It’s definitely going to be something different,” she said.
“I’m more excited than nervous. Now, I have the luxury of my mom. In two weeks, I’ll be on my own and have to deal with a responsibility I’ve never had. It’s thrilling.”
With a smile on her face, Potts talked enthusiastically about who she hopes to be instead of where she wants to be after college.
“I think my next four years will be really discovering who I am and finding out what means the most to me.”
Garrett Shuffield is a fifth-year student in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Soon he will graduate with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in accounting. A few weeks ago he decided to go to law school.
Though he seems to have it all figured out, Shuffield is just one of the many students whose college career boasted twists and turns hurdled with difficult decision after difficult decision.
When asked if this is where his college freshman self-thought he’d be nearing graduation, he laughed.
“OH man, no not at all,” he said.
Shuffield began his freshman year as an electrical engineering major.
“I thought I wanted to make the next iPhone because I’m a super Apple geek tech fan,” he said, “But I quickly realized electrical engineering is the study of electricity, which is SO boring.”
After a harsh realization, Shuffield dropped all engineering classes and called home, admitting early defeat to his mom and dad.
But thanks to some helpful advisors, Shuffield was able to add other courses to his schedule after the drop course deadline.
He spent the next year working hard to make the best possible grades to transfer into the business school.
Fast-forward one year, and that’s exactly where he was.
“Within two weeks of my first accounting class, it clicked, it made sense,” he said, “I was enjoying it and everyone else was miserable.”
And with positive change followed more big goals.
“I thought that I would just enter the big four accounting world as a tax accountant,” Shuffield said, “But more recently as I’ve thought about where I see myself in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years down the road in my career, I realized that more of my interests and my goals align better with the legal aspects of tax-tax law.”
Shuffield is taking the LSAT in December and hopes to start law school next fall.
Shuffield believes college taught him, not only how to learn, but how to solve problems unexpectedly thrown his way.
“I’m very excited for my future,” he said, “I have no idea what it’ll hold.”
“The past four years have taught me that everything can change at any time. But I’m excited to see where I end up, what I do, who I meet and hopefully change the world,” Shuffield said.