First Year Reflections: Ajia Vigil

Published on 10 September 2021

As a first-year student at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, Ajia Vigil dove headfirst into the student experience by joining the Student Government Association and STRIVE Academic Support Program, which helped her stay focused on academics and improve her time management. Vigil also serves as a Summer Orientation Leader and Founders Leadership Scholar and runs cross-country and track for the Eutectics Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Team.

In reflecting on her first year at the University, Vigil shared her favorite experiences and some advice for future students.

Why did you choose University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis?

When I first stepped foot on the UHSP campus for a tour, I immediately fell in love. Even though it is a small school, the faculty and students are all hardworking and kind, and I was attracted to the opportunities that the University offers to students.

Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to work in health care, and as I got older, I became curious about different medications and how they interact with the human body. That’s when a family friend told me about UHSP and I knew right away I wanted to be a pharmacist.

I chose the University because I knew it would develop and strengthen me as a student and prepare me for a future in my dream profession of pharmacy.

What do you like about living on campus?

I like living on campus because it is where all your first memories are made and where you begin to develop your true self. To be honest, I was very nervous to move and leave my family behind, but once I lived a whole year by myself, I learned to like being independent.

Some of my favorite memories freshman year involve hanging out with friends in the Central West End neighborhood where campus is located. There are a lot of amazing restaurants and places to explore there.

My favorite place on campus is the ARB, specifically, the second floor between 5 and 8 p.m., because it is quiet and I like to study there. UHSP provides a nice living space for students and fun activities on campus. They help students get involved around campus, which is a great benefit so you feel like you belong here.

What is a challenge you encountered in your first year at the University?

One of the biggest challenges was attending college during the pandemic because it limited me and others in my class from experiencing a typical college lifestyle.

We had to decide if we wanted to take a class in person or virtually. I chose to go in person. Many outdoor events were also planned differently with extreme caution for the health and safety of the campus community.

Despite the pandemic, UHSP provided me with a great experience for my freshman year.

I was able to make a lot of good friends and amazing memories. Plus, the faculty and staff here at UHSP created a fun, loving and caring environment for the students.

What are you looking forward to for next year?

I am looking forward to hopefully seeing faces and enjoying a more typical campus atmosphere, and also taking part in more student events. Really, I just hope to have a great sophomore year!

What are some words of wisdom that you would want to say to future students, or what is something you want them to know?

I hope that future students know that it is okay to make mistakes because no one is perfect. Mistakes may be obstacles, but there is always going to be a better path if you keep moving forward. I also want future students to know that the UHSP community is here to guide them and help them develop their own independence and place on this amazing campus.


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