Sixth-grader Madelynn Wiggins didn’t hesitate when asked if she’d thought much about her future.
“I’m going to college,” she said confidently. “I think I’m going to go to Colorado State University or to Notre Dame.”
Madelynn was on a field trip to CSU, along with more than 200 other sixth graders from Lincoln Middle School. This is the second year the school has taken students on this trip, which aims to give the students a taste of college life and inspire them to follow their dreams after they finish high school in just a few short years.
“I know it seems like a lifetime to them,” said Charlene Peterson, the Lincoln media specialist who accompanied the students. “But it’s to motivate and inspire. … It seems like it lit a lot of fires.”
She said students had a chance to ask their most burning questions to CSU students: What are your favorite classes? What are the worst classes? Is the dining hall food any good? How do you pay for college?
And it let them see what an exciting place a college campus can be.
During the visit, students met CSU student athletes and heard from first-generation college students. For Madelynn, who will be the first in her family to attend college, this was particularly meaningful. She listened intently as the students talked about their college experience and doled out advice on how she, too, could get to a university.
“They said pick good friends, friends who will help and who will encourage you,” she said.
Aidan Scully said his favorite part of the trip was seeing a real-life college dorm room – it was nicer than he expected – though he is not quite sure how he feels about having a roommate. He said he hasn’t spent too much time thinking about college, but said he’d like to end up at a place like CSU.
“It’s a lot bigger (than I expected), he said. “It’s just really cool.”