Lauren Fryer is a junior who began Upper Division coursework in Summer Start at the College of Nursing. Lauren is from a Gamecock family hailing from the Columbia area, so she always hoped she would attend the University of South Carolina. From a young age, she enjoyed caring for others and pretending to be nurse. Achieving high scores on both her SAT and ACT, she qualified for the UofSC Honors College as a Nursing major. Her hopes and dreams became reality.
Lauren made it a point not to wait to pursue her interests until she made it into Upper Division. She sought out faculty mentors who shared her research interests and also met regularly with her advisors to ensure she was on track to complete all of her honors requirements. Before even heading into Upper Division, Lauren has already conducted literature reviews, surveys, curriculum reviews and evaluations, research conference presentations, and interviews. Now Lauren is focusing on palliative care for her Honors thesis. She has found that filling gaps in the current knowledge has opened up an entirely new side of nursing for her.
To other nursing students, Lauren advises not to wait to follow your interests. Find faculty members who share your interests and reach out. This can lead to amazing mentorship opportunities within the college. She shared that some students may feel like research can wait until either Upper Division or even after graduation; however, getting involved in research projects can help students narrow down their nursing focus and even ignite their passions in specific areas in the field. “Be bold!” Lauren encouraged. “If you have the desire to learn, the experience will come naturally.”