Meet Samantha Hersom, CJ Student of the Month

posted in Criminal Justice on February 8th, 2016

SamHi Sam! It feels like I have known you forever but you only recently transferred to the CJ program from Orono. How has the transition been for you?
Hi Tracey! I feel the same way you have been so helpful and guiding through the whole process it seems so unreal that we have only met back in August when school started. To be honest any transition including my own is always hard on a person, it is stressful and sometimes can be emotional. However, people here have made it a very easy transition people are so welcoming and ready to get to know you. I was able to make connections the first day I was here. I remember sitting with Chelsea and learning anything and everything about the school and all that the Criminal Justice program had to offer. While I definitely miss all of my old friends up in Orono I would not change my decision for the world, I finally made a decision that was about me and not for other people.

A real interest for you is Forensics. Can you tell us a little about your plans after you graduate in December 2016?
Well, believe it or not Forensics has always been on the table as an option for me. Originally, I was supposed to go to school at The University of New Haven for Forensic Science, just like anything in life though plans changed. I thought I had it all figured out and I went to The University of Maine for teaching, that was a mistake. In the past three years I have made a full 360 in my life plans and I finally feel confident in my decisions. Once I leave YCCC I plan on actually going to The University of New Haven in Connecticut and finally get my degree in something I feel passionate about. While I will once again need to re-accustom myself to a new school I am hopeful to be ready to take yet another huge step in my life.

Are there any classes that you would recommend or looking forward to taking before your finish your degree? I am thinking Criminalistics may be a part of this list.
In my time left I really hope to take the Criminalistics class but also a few more science and math classes that can be better student oriented at a smaller school such as YCCC. Going from a class size of three hundred to an average class or twenty I can really see a change in my grades and learning outcome at the end of the semesters. I learn better when I am treated more as a student rather than just a number to a professor. I do recommend, though, for anyone who is interested in the program to take your Ethics in Leadership In Criminal Justice, this class really allowed me to put myself in the field. While my ambition is to sit in a laboratory all day the class is really set up to allow students to really think and analyze how they would react in certain situations. It is also a really good start because where it is more of a discussion-oriented class you are more prone to feel more involved with the people in your class hence a feeling of comfort in a new environment.

How do you keep your grades up with your busy schedule? Is the secret to your success your Erin Condren planner?
Erin Condren don’t even get me started! If there was something I would go to a desert island with it would be my planner. Being as involved and I am it is so helpful to have a book that can keep track of my schedule and life so I essentially don’t have too. Working full time, being a full time student, and owning my own small business really keeps me on my toes and organization is key to just about anything in life! It also is helpful to me that my classes are only on Mondays and Wednesdays this semester because I have those days to fully dedicate to school because the rest of the week I am always at work.

Any final shout outs or words of wisdom?
Essentially I just really want to instill on people to be positive about the choices you make in life, especially a college major. If you have any doubt in your mind that you might be in the wrong major talk to someone about it, try to think of what you can see yourself doing with the degree, but also why this field makes you happy. I found myself asking these questions so many times and who knows down the road I might ask myself the same questions again but for now I can make a positive decision with Forensics and Criminal Justice.