Rising junior Emma Nicklas-Morris, a psychology major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, answers a few questions about student life at Carnegie Mellon, why she chose her major, what classes she's enjoyed, and a memorable moment he's had as a member of the swimming and diving team.
1. What do you enjoy about campus life?
I enjoy the community. Everyone is very nice and willing to help you out. I love the diversity. I love the spirit before and during Carnival. Overall, I enjoy the atmosphere of CMU. (It's hard to explain why)
2. What do you get involved in outside of your sport?
I am currently involved in Design for America (DFA) and I am apart of a project/group that goes down to a men's homeless shelter every Sunday to provide art therapy/open studio for the residents. We call our group art2connect. I love going every Sunday to go talk with the men and see how they are doing. There is usually at least one person who is quite talkative and has many stories to tell. It is also amazing to see their talent and interest in art. The best thing is knowing that we are making an impact and that the residents look forward to us coming each week.
I have also recently gotten into hip hop dancing on campus. I go to the workshops that are offered every so often. It is something I really enjoy doing outside of swimming. With limited offered hip hop classes on campus, I started to go off campus to Millennium Dance Complex and take beginner classes there. Those are so much fun.
3. What are you summer plans?
My summer plans are teaching swim lessons while I am home to earn money, and then go to RISD for 4 weeks to take 2 classes (I actually just got back). I took Identity Design and Type + Image Design. Both were great classes and I learned a lot. I loved the experience and would be willing to go back again to take more classes there during the summer.
4. What are you excited about next semester?
I am excited about swimming. The team is changing, but I am mostly excited because last year I struggled mentally with the training and competition. So this year I really want to focus on enjoying the process again so I can compete in a better mindset. I am also excited for new classes, and the excitement of being a junior this year.
5. Why did you select your course of study – what class have you enjoyed the most?
I chose psychology because I was interested in it (and the Design school didn't work out). I want to be a graphic designer and I think psychology pairs well with that field as knowing how humans behave can be important when designing. My favorite psychology class has been Social Psychology with professor Cox-Boyd. My favorite design class has been Communication Design Fundamentals.
6. What class has been recommended as a MUST take class at CMU? What class would you recommend?
When I was a freshman, one of the seniors on the swim team said that to get my moneys worth out of CMU, I should take 15-112, a basic level programming course.
My recommendations on classes would depend on what they are interested in. In psychology, it totally depends on what they are interested in because I know people who love social psychology and others who hated it. I was one of those people who loved it and would recommend it. I also have taken a lot of design classes and would recommend almost all of them, but again it is personal preference. I am really interested in graphic design so I would recommend Communication Design Fundamentals. The professors who teach the classes also matter, so consider that when choosing courses.
7. What have you enjoyed about living in Pittsburgh?
I have enjoyed the different neighborhoods that are around. Each one has different things to do in it which makes it easy to have different things to do with your free time. I also enjoy that we aren't actually living in the city, we are just outside of the busy part of the city, but still get to enjoy the benefits of being in a big city. I love Light Up Night in the Fall/Winter.
8. What has been a memorable moment so far during your time on the team?
There are so many, but it would probably be the moments on my freshman year training trip in Miami, Florida. It's a time where the team really gets to bond together and be able to solely focus on swimming. It is fun to explore Miami for the first time and room with other teammates, cook with them, play on the beach, train hard in practice, get tan. Our team has lots of traditions and those are also memorable too.