A look back on my time at USG. Guest Post: Lucas Perez, a recent UMD at USG alum

Lucas Perez, ’22 Graduate from University of Maryland, College Park at USG – Communication Program

I first heard about the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) through my brother, who attended the campus in 2019. However, it wasn’t until a University of Maryland, College Park (UMD)Communication Program at USG advisor visited one of my classes at Montgomery College (MC) that I really learned about everything the campus had to offer. Prior to MC, I had also briefly attended Bethany College in West Virginia for a year in an attempt to continue my athletic and educational career after high school.

When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, it really allowed me to take a step back and think through what I wanted to do with my life. In high school and college, I had always had a passion and interest in writing, journalism and public relations. I eventually realized that a degree in communications could be a great fit for me, and I was pleased to find that the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) offered their communications program at USG. I knew from the moment I began learning more about USG that I wanted to attend the campus based on the campus size, student to professor ratio, and distance, as it was only a 10-minute commute from my home. So, after contacting the program advisor for UMD’s communication program at USG, I figured out exactly how many more credits and which classes I still needed at MC to make the transfer, and I was accepted into the program in the Spring of 2021.

Due to the pandemic, my very first semester at USG was virtual, so it wasn’t until the fall that I was actually able to meet my professors and peers in person. Prior to USG, I was always one of those students who would come to campus and leave as soon as my classes were over. However, through my time at USG, I had fallen in love with the campus and the close-knit community it offered. By the Spring of 2022, I was catching myself spending hours in the breakout rooms in the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Building, which was by far one of my favorite features about the campus. Whether it would be studying for finals, writing a paper or just hanging with friends, you could always catch me there after classes!

I also had the honor of interning with USG’s Marketing and Communications department on campus. Here, I created and edited content for USG’s website and social media channels, provided on-site support for events on campus, assisted with photography or video-capturing, and more. This showed me firsthand how tasks are handled from an organization’s standpoint, and I am extremely appreciative for the opportunity and the connections I was able to make.

I graduated in December of 2022, and before I enter the real world, I’ve decided to take a break and travel to Spain. Ever since I can remember, school has been my entire life, something that has always been creeping around the corner come summer or winter time. And while it does feel awfully weird not having a specific path for once, I could not be more excited for what’s to come. I am forever grateful for USG and the endless opportunities it has presented to me, as well as allowing me to call a campus my home.

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