Sarah Hasenauer, a first year student majoring in occupational therapy (OT), has settled in nicely at Elizabethtown College. Like most high school juniors and senior, Sarah was right there with them, stressing and struggling to find the right college to spend her next four years. After going through the painful application process and committing, Sarah couldn’t be happier.
“I chose Etown because, as cheesy as it sounds, it felt like home the moment I stepped foot on campus” Sarah said.
After numerous emotionless tours of different colleges, Sarah was pleased to finally feel that thing that everyone talks about, the “home away from home appeal.” She was drawn to the personalities of the students; everyone was so welcoming and she could see that people actually cared about each other, not simply putting on the “welcome to our campus” façade that she felt at the other colleges she looked at. There was also a huge limiting factor for which schools she could look at: her major. There are only a few schools in Pennsylvania that offer OT, let alone a fifth year program that doesn’t require an application for the fifth year. The combination of personal touch and education made coming to Etown an easy decision for her.
As a high schooler, Sarah struggled to find what she wanted to major in. She felt the pressure building as college became closer, but couldn’t find what she wanted to commit to. Physical therapy seemed to have some of the aspects Sarah enjoyed, like helping people heal and improving their lives, but she cringed at the thought of having to inflict pain on patients. In order to stay in rehabilitation services, Sarah looked into OT. With college application deadlines approaching, she warily declared OT as her major. Looking into it more, she organized an internship with the occupational therapist in her school district.
“I’d spend two hours every morning with her and would help with some of the planning and grading. This is when I fell in love with OT and I knew I chose the right major” Sarah said.
Life at Etown
When taking a break from studying for biology or her other OT courses, Sarah is usually off at dance practice. In her first semester, Sarah performed in a variety of dances at the Emotion Showcase. This semester, she has taken on the lead as a choreographer of her own dance to “Praying” by Kesha. She is excited to perform next Thursday and Friday at the showcase.
She is also a member of the dance team and just elected treasurer for next year.
“I love dance! It is a great way to destress and forget about all my obligations for a while.”
An average day for Sarah consists of her going to class in the morning, working at the college bookstore, then going to dance. Free from her weekly obligations, Sarah tends to go home on the weekends. She knows that her family are always up to something, and doesn’t want to miss out.
Sarah is excited for her coming years at Etown, but coming to the close of her second semester, she is realizing it is going by much faster than she would like.