Hello everyone! My name is Victoria Beck and I’m a sophomore studying economics and statistics. I’m proud to be an Honors Ambassador this year! I’m from right outside of Pittsburgh, and both my mom and uncle are Pitt alumni! I came to Pitt because I wanted to go to a college in a city and I love that so much of Pittsburgh is just a walk or a short bus ride away. There’s so much to explore here even for someone like me, who has lived in the area for most of my life.
Pitt is definitely a school that has so many opportunities for learning, growing as a person and student, and having a lot of fun. No matter what you are interested in, there is probably a group here at Pitt that has the same interests, and if not, there are plenty of resources available to start your own organization. I’ve found that you often have experiences that you did not even mean to look for here. For example, after I enrolled at Pitt, I stumbled across a social media page for Pitt Tonight, a late-night comedy group here at Pitt. I applied to be a writer on a whim, and it’s honestly been one of my favorite things to do thus far in college.
I wanted to be a part of Pitt Honors in order to have the opportunity to take my passions and interests even further. Being surrounded by such motivated and incredible peers with such a variety of interests creates an environment in which I can challenge myself to achieve my goals, with the support of faculty and community members. Pitt Honors prides itself in crossing boundaries, whether they be academic disciplines, geographical, political, or socioeconomic, which was very appealing to me. As someone with a seemingly random assortment of interests (such as the fast fashion industry, music, comedy, developmental economics, racial justice) it’s so important for me to have a place that supports that kind of interdisciplinary study. Pitt Honors College encourages you to go out into the world and engage with new ideas and perspectives while sharing your own thoughts and experiences. If you have a goal or ambition, Pitt Honors is a great place to refine and work towards it. I have found that it is a bridge that serves to connect you to many opportunities including research, community engagement, internships, and study abroad.
In my first year at Pitt, I regularly attended Community Café to listen to different speakers and people from the community. I also had meetings with my scholar mentor and with Holly Hickling in order to talk about my future at Pitt and ideas for possible projects that I wanted to explore. In addition, I attended TESSA Talks in order to have productive discussions with my peers, and to further open my mind to other perspectives on issues such as immigration. While living in Honors housing, I attended floor events such as karaoke and outings to the Strip District. One of my favorite Honors College memories from my first year is winning trivia at Sutherland and making some new friends at the same time. This year has definitely looked different, but I’ve still really enjoyed engaging with Pitt Honors, most notably through being an Honors Ambassador. It’s so rewarding to be able to interact with prospective students and share my own experiences and love for Pitt.
Perhaps the thing that has challenged me most through Pitt Honors is honors courses. Last year I took Honors Introduction to Macroeconomics, which allowed me to delve deeper into economic theory than I would have in a regular course. Though difficult at times, I really enjoyed it and felt I had a very good grasp on the content that would serve me through my major. I also took Intellectual Foundations of Capitalism, which was an exceptionally fascinating course. I got to study, discuss, and research the philosophy and groundwork of capitalist structures from the time of Machiavelli, through Adam Smith, multiple revolutions, to more recent times. Though it was certainly a challenge at times, and a lot of reading, it was one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken. With the encouragement of my Pitt Honors peers and mentors, I look forward to taking on more challenges and exploring even more of myself and the world around me in the years to come.