The difference between freshman and sophomore years of college can be dramatic for a lot of students. Saree Behm, a 2021 Council Scholarship recipient, spent her first year at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater mostly taking general education classes.
Now a sophomore, the early childhood and special education major is taking classes more aligned with her interests. We recently checked in with Saree to ask how the 2021-22 school year is going for her.
Council: What are your favorite classes?
Saree: Right now I’m in a class where we’re talking about different kinds of language barriers, learning how to better relate to families and children with different backgrounds and behavioral issues.
One class I really like is motor development, where we’re learning how to come up with physical education activities for youngsters. We’re learning how to make our activities more adaptive for students in wheelchairs and students who are blind or visually impaired.
Council: What kinds of support has the university been able to provide to help you navigate academic challenges?
Saree: What’s been most helpful to me has probably been when professors have PowerPoints posted on Canvas (an online university website) ahead of time. They’re for everyone in the class, but I still find it very helpful as I don’t always see the visual cues in class. Another accommodation is having extra time on tests; that’s really helpful.
The university has tried to help with other accommodations, but they are understaffed, so I wasn’t able to receive all of the books online that I’d hoped to receive. They’re really overwhelmed.
Council: What do you do for fun while at college?
Saree: Sometimes I go on runs. Also, I really like eating, so grabbing lunch and dinner with friends is really fun.
Council: Do you like cooking as much as eating?
Saree: I like to put things in the microwave, but I don’t think that really counts.
Council: Do you have summer plans?
Saree: I really want to work this summer. I love being at home, but I want a routine to get me out of the house. Hopefully in a daycare setting, but maybe I can get some volunteer work as well. The experience is what I want.
Council: What other activities have you been involved in at school?
Saree: For a while at school, I was a counselor, and then a peer mentor. Not just for people with disabilities, but there were some students with significant challenges. Mostly I offered emotional support, encouraging them, being a role model. With a couple of students, I helped get them back on the right track.