Upward Bound

Gradi Schutt

Gradi Schutt, UMF '12

University of Maine at Farmington Class of 2012

College Major:   Political Science/International Relations                              

Career interests:   United Nations/Human Right/Conflict Resolution Work

Attended UB Summer 2006 from Morse High School



What was your favorite thing about college in general? 

The freedom to pursue your own interests and dreams. It really helps you to find out who you are as a person, what your passions are, and ultimately helps you understand what is most important in your life. Other than that, the friends you make it college; you will remember it for the rest of your life.

What are/were some of your favorite things about your school?

The size of the school; I thought I wanted to go to a big university, but once I got here I found that that attending a small school was a blessing. You make so many friends, everything is walking distance, and the class sizes are smaller so you can forge meaningful relationships with your professors. When you have good relationships with your professors you ultimately learn more.

 Tell us about your transition to college.  Was it easy?  Was it hard?  Why?  What helped get you through it?

It wasn’t so much tough as it was confusing. Learning to finally live on your own away from home, no rules, no one telling you what to do; it makes you grow up fast and learn true responsibility. You have to take control of your life and learn time management. Do your work when it needs to get done and have fun at the appropriate times. What really helped me get through it were, honestly, my professors. Forging relationships with your professors early will make it easier to talk to them when you’re having trouble or need assistance.

What was the hardest thing/biggest challenge you faced your first year?

Learning time management; when you first get to college so many opportunities open up to you. There are so many things going on at all times of the day that it is extremely easy to fall behind in your school work to have fun with friends. But you have to remember that school is ultimately the reason you are here. Schoolwork, then fun- in that order.

What would you say was your biggest accomplishment/proudest moment in college?

Finding what my passion was and what I really wanted to do with my life; coming into college I honestly had no idea. I entered college as a history major, but after taking a couple history classes, I knew it wasn’t for me. By some fluke I signed up for an introduction world politics class and immediately fell in love with the subject matter. After that day, I knew what I truly had a passion for. 

Tell us about the clubs/activities you are/were involved in at school.  What is most rewarding?  Have you/did you gained new skills because of your involvement?

Being a political science/international relations major, I was luckily to be studying the subject matter in such a politically driven time; the current debt crisis, the Arab Spring, the Iraq War, etc., so I took the opportunity to attend a lot of seminars on these various issues and inevitably learned a lot.

I also took part in a lot of intramural sports, including basketball, volleyball, inner tube water polo, etc. You meet a lot of people when you take part in these kinds of activities and have so much fun!

What advice do you have for current UB’ers who are thinking about college?

Whether you think college is for you or not, keep your options and mind open. Nothing says you can’t try it for a year, and if it’s not for you than it’s not for you. Some of my best memories have come when I was in college and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. College isn’t just about the school work; it helped me learn who I am as a person and what is truly important. College inevitably teaches you about life.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

At this point in my life, I really don’t know where I will end up. I’m keeping my options open and hopefully my dream career will come along. Right now I’m focusing on getting my Graduate School applications in and furthering my education so I will be qualified for whatever opportunity opens itself up to me.