Abigail Hillis is a Washington State University alumna who recently graduated with a degree in psychology. When asked why she chose WSU, she credits her older sister who was attending the university at the time. Seeing her sister’s college lifestyle firsthand made her realize that WSU would be a great place for her to attend as well. Additionally, the beauty of the campus made the decision to apply an easy one.
During her time at WSU, Hillis’ most rewarding experience was completing and presenting her undergraduate honors thesis. She found the process to be challenging, with multiple drafts and revisions, but her thesis advisers were supportive throughout. Her hard work paid off in the end, as she produced a final product that she is incredibly proud of.
As a student, Hillis found the library to be the most useful resource at WSU. The library’s website provided a wealth of research materials, which saved her time and helped her find reliable sources. This resource was especially valuable during the pandemic, as the physical library was closed.
When asked about her advice for incoming freshmen, Hillis’ answer is straightforward: trust yourself. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the number of options and decisions that come with starting college. However, Hillis recommends following their passions and trusting themselves to make the right choices.
“When you trust yourself to know what you want and to go after it, college becomes infinitely more enjoyable and life-changing,” Hillis said.
Working in reference at WSU was a fulfilling experience for Hillis. She enjoyed helping patrons find the information they needed, especially when it came to niche topics. When she found a source that made a difference in someone’s research, it was a shared moment of excitement that fueled her passion for helping others.
“I’ve honestly never had a better job. I loved my coworkers and learned so much more about how to research something than I thought I would,” Hillis said.
Hillis’ plans after graduation involve attending graduate school at Concordia University in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where she will pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. Hillis said she is excited about the opportunity to learn more in the field.
Overall, Hillis said WSU prepared her well for the future by providing a supportive community that helped her realize her potential. She encourages current and future students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them, both academically and socially. Her message to students is to enjoy the transformative experience that is college. The Cougar family is a strong one.
“During this time, you can build relationships that will last years and learn more about yourself than you have before. WSU is the perfect place for you to learn material, but it’s also the perfect place for you to learn that you are actually capable of a lot more than you thought,” Hillis said.