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Grace Zaborski

First-Year Exploratory Studies Student

Young person in front of plain back drop smiling and wearing a necklace

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts 

Hobbies: Listening to music, reading, painting 

Major: Environmental Studies and Sustainability, Minor in Politics 

What made you choose Drexel? 

I chose Drexel because I knew that was going to enter college undeclared, and that Drexel’s co-op program would provide me with work experience, giving me insight into my choice of major. First-Year Exploratory Studies (FYES) also impacted my decision, as the program involves close work with an advisor, professors, and peer mentors to help me figure out what major best suits my interests. I also really love the City of Philadelphia—it is great to study in a place that is so connected to the rest of the world, where I can actually make a difference. 

What made you choose First- Year Exploratory Studies

When applying to colleges, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in. I took many classes that I enjoyed in high school but was unable to decide how that could all be combined into a single major. I chose FYES because I knew that I would need a curriculum that would best reflect my many interests and curiosities, and FYES was able to provide this. 

What are the academic and professional benefits of exploring your first year? 

It is incredibly difficult to figure out what you want to major in while in high school, especially because there are so many topics and disciplines that are not taught in high schools. With about three-quarters of students changing their college major at least once during their undergraduate career, taking the time to explore your major helps you ensure the completion of the general required classes while also taking more specific classes in a range of topics. 

What has your experience been like with your advisor? 

My experience with my advisor has been amazing. My advisor, Nina Kosoglou, has helped me every step of the way, whether it was preparing for class registration or bouncing around ideas for my major. Because the FYES program is relatively small, my advisor was easily accessible by both appointment and walk-in hours. She helped me stay on track to make sure the classes I was taking were relevant to my interests and would contribute to my overall education. I’m excited to have declared my major, but I will definitely miss having Nina as my advisor. 

What are your most memorable classes or instructors? 

A memorable class was a political science class I took in my first term called Power in Protest: Social Movements in Comparative Perspective. The class focused on social movements throughout history and the analysis of their beginnings and impacts. This class was taught by Jack Santucci, who is notable for his research in proportional representation. The class was small and discussion-based as well as very engaging. It helped me realize that I wanted to make a difference in the current political climate.  

What are your biggest takeaways from the FYES classes or the whole FYES experience? 

My biggest takeaway is that taking the time to be undeclared is helpful and that you should never be afraid to take your time. I would have been lost without the FYES program and I feel very lucky that I was able to figure out what I want to do through this program. 

What else are you involved in at Drexel? How can students get involved in University groups? 

I am a Student Ambassador on campus, where I give tours to incoming students and their families. I am also an arts and entertainment writer for The Triangle, our college newspaper. Lastly, I am involved with theatre and recently assistant stage managed our spring musical, Be More Chill. Students should definitely get involved on campus and take advantage of the many clubs available. A way to get involved is by attending the activities fairs that are held on campus at the beginning of fall and spring terms. Additionally, searching on Dragonlink, Drexel’s club database can help you learn about the hundreds of opportunities offered!