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A photo of Halli Barrios

Her leap of faith was toward Corvallis

By Life@OSU

Meet Halli Barrios, a biology student.

Where did you grow up?
In Southern California, in a city called Rancho Cucamonga; It’s quite a mouthful. It’s 30 minutes from Disneyland!

Why OSU?
Funny enough, OSU wasn’t my first choice; it fell into my lap when I got the acceptance letter and scholarship package. I learned about all the research opportunities here, and I liked how science-oriented the university was, so I flew up the very next week to check it out. When I got here, I was on a science tour, and the campus in the spring was unlike any college in California ... just breathtaking ... I took a leap of faith and decided to come here and am still very happy with my decision.

How close are you to graduating, and what’s next after that?
I graduate in Spring 2019, and after that I am going to be in a post-bacc program for a year before medical school. I plan to become a surgeon one day and work in pediatrics.

What has been your favorite class at OSU?
I have taken so many and they all were really amazing. My favorite, though, would probably be sociology of public health. I learned about current problems and trends in public health around the globe, as well as how people are starting to try to eradicate those problems. Learning about what I can do today to affect tomorrow really stuck with me.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned outside classes?
I think the most important thing I learned outside the classroom is to know what you don’t know. Whether it’s about your strengths, weaknesses, whatever it may be, not being afraid to say I don’t know, and seeking out answers, is a big part of life.

What’s your favorite place to hang out on campus?
I have a great office space in the Student Experience Center with a lot of amazing people, so I usually am there. In the spring, I am always outside, especially when the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in Corvallis?
It’s more about who I am with. I have people in dining centers that I work with who make that space one of my favorites, but I also can go downtown to a restaurant and feel the same love and community. If I had to pick, I love being downtown at the park by the river.

What kind of support do you get from scholarships?
I have a couple grants based on academic performance, but I actually get most of my support from financial aid. Growing up, there was always a fear about money, as I knew we didn’t really have the money for out-of-state tuition. If OSU hadn’t given me scholarships and aid, I wouldn’t be able to attend here, so I am truly blessed for that.