First Year Reflections: Colten Duvall

Published on 20 August 2021

University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis sophomore Colten Duvall has fully immersed himself in the UHSP student experience, from supporting research projects for the medicinal chemistry department to competing for the Eutectics Men’s Outdoor Track and Field team in javelin, hammer and discus.

Reflecting on his first year at the University, Duvall shared his favorite memories and some things he learned along the way.

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

UHSP came to my high school during a college fair day, and I met with some members of the admissions team.

I was excited about having the chance to compete in athletics and participate in undergraduate research opportunities, so the decision to attend UHSP was an easy choice for me. Plus, the campus has a very close-knit community feel that you don’t get at most Universities.

What program/degree are you pursuing?

My dream job is to be a pediatric anesthesiologist, so I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UHSP and then plan to attend medical school after graduation.

The Pharmaceutical Sciences program is a good fit for anyone who enjoys the chemistry side of science. I have always been interested in the way medicine works, and this program allows you to gain a very detailed understanding into not only medicine but patient care and research.

What do you like about living on campus?

The best thing about living on campus is that everything you need is so close to you. Between on-campus resources and the Central West End neighborhood, there are plenty of things to do and see within walking distance. Also, being in the heart of St. Louis gives you an opportunity to experience a little bit of city life between your studies.

One of my favorite moments last year was the St. Louis Blues watch party we had in Jones Hall. It was fun to have everyone in the same room cheering for the Blues, especially after the COVID-19 restrictions had been in place all year.

What is a challenge you overcame last year?

One of the challenges I faced during my first year was adjusting to a college schedule. You are no longer in high school where the schedule is spoon-fed to you. Most of the planning, studying, review and assignments depend on you finding time to do them.

Making a calendar, planning and writing down all assignments is how I got through it. It is much tougher than high school, in that you have to be responsible for your own time. And that is doubled if you are doing sports.

Don’t worry though, you have more time than you think.

Do you have any advice for new first-year and future students?

One thing I would stress is to practice good study habits, even if you didn’t have to study for exams in high school and focus on getting sleep. Many new college students will quickly find out that 3 a.m. isn’t as late as it seems, and it might even be where a majority of your study time happens.

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