COURTESY OF RYAN HILLER
With graduation approaching, Grace Zangerle, senior political science major, realized her two years at WSU may have been mainly online, but they are still a memorable part of her Cougar experience.
Arriving at WSU as a transfer student at the start of her junior year gave Zangerle a unique experience. Everything was very new to her, but she quickly found friends within her sorority, Tri-Delta.
“I felt like I was getting all those fun freshmen experiences, even though I was academically a junior,” Zangerle said. “It was really great to go through that and find my community even though I came in at a different point than everyone else did.”
Zangerle was inspired to go to WSU by her cousin, who she looked up to as a kid. She followed in her footsteps and went to Pullman.
“Family brought me here,” Zangerle said. “I thought: ‘she’s a coug, so I want to be a coug, too.’”
Zangerle said one thing she will take from her time in Pullman is the “Cougar calves” she developed from walking the steep hills on campus. On a more serious note, she also feels she gained impactful relationships with those around her, making connections that proved to be especially important during the pandemic.
“I think I gained professionalism when talking with professors and also some student-professor friendships,” Zangerle said.
Zangerle said she jokes that she is actually graduating from Wazzoom instead of Wazzu. Spending most of her two years online was a strange experience, but she was fortunate enough to move in with some friends to have a fun college experience while still being safe.
“We all checked in with each other,” Zangerle said. “They definitely were super helpful and influential in making my senior year the best that it could be, even in a pandemic.”
The group of friends uplifted each other with movie nights and shared their difficulties being college students during a pandemic. They also pushed each other to stay on top of homework and remain positive.
Zanergle credits her parents for helping her, even though they had trouble understanding what she was going through.
“I missed out on your standard experiences but I think I have to move on and say, ‘Well, these are now the experiences that I get as a senior,’” Zangerle said. “Instead of being upset about what I missed, I have to look forward to what I’m getting now.”
She is now looking forward to the good times ahead. Although she is graduating, and hopefully heading off to law school soon, WSU fostered a sense of community that allowed Zangerle to meet some of her best friends. She knows they will make lots of memories after graduation and for years to come.