An Interview with The Preppy Scientist!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 5 of the Back to School Blogging Challenge! Learn more about the challenge here.

Today, I had the unique (and awesome) experience of interviewing Shontal of The Preppy Scientist. I met her through the Her Campus Blogger Network, and discovered that she's also a Delta Zeta! The only thing better than meeting blogger friends is meeting blogger-sister-friends!

Be sure to check out The Preppy Scientist and follow Shontal on social media.

An Interview with The Preppy Scientist

Zoe: What college do you attend, what year are you, and what is your major? 
Shontal: I attend the University of Windsor in Windsor Ontario! I am working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science and this is my final year of study.

Zoe: Why did you choose the University of Windsor?
Shontal: I knew that I wanted to move away and only a few schools offer a Forensic Science Major. It came down to 3 different schools and I chose Windsor because I loved that my class sizes would be small and because of how close the school is to an international border!

Zoe: What inspired you to pursue science and become a scientist?
Shontal: I’ve always loved science! I can’t pinpoint my ‘aha’ moment, but I do love how science can help us understand the world we live in and ourselves in a very detailed way. I specifically chose forensic science because I am obsessed with mysteries (I seriously wish I could be Nancy Drew) and just figured that this would be a perfect way to combine both of my passions and to help people!
Zoe: What inspired you to become a blogger?
Shontal: Truthfully – I didn’t really have any specific inspiration to blog! I had always read blogs and really loved the idea of having one – but I didn’t think it would go very far. Anyway, I was pretty bored and lonely after my first year of university and thought blogging would keep me occupied! I had started off with a few different names, but finally settled on The Preppy Scientist.

Zoe: How has blogging influenced your experience in school?
Shontal: Sometimes keeping a consistent blogging schedule on top of school and other commitments can be a lot. I’ve definitely passed on going out with friends and stayed up really late to blog. I’ve also been approached on campus a handful of times by readers – which is really cool! Over all I would say blogging has had a positive influence on my schooling. I’ve learned how to manage multiple projects at once and since I’m in a science program, it’s great to have a creative outlet!

Zoe: How has your experience in Greek Life affected your educational experience?
Shontal: My experience in Greek Life has made a huge impact in my education! I’ve always been super into school so joining a sorority that really values education has given me an environment where my academic pursuits are supported has been really great.

Zoe: Who is your biggest female role model or inspiration? Why?
Shontal: This is a tough one! I’d ultimately have to say Oprah (though Misty Copeland and Jenna Lyons are close second and thirds). I love Oprah because she spreads the message of never giving up no matter what. Oprah is one of the biggest names in television and yet before she had her own show, she was turned away from many hosting gigs. Imagine if she gave up! Her fearlessness and tenacity are things I admire greatly and hope to have one day!

Zoe: What is the best piece of advice you have received, and who gave it to you?
Shontal: The best piece of advice I’ve received was from the UIFI (Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute) session I attended last summer. On our first day we were told to take off our ‘cool caps’ and that has just stuck with me because it can be applied to so many different situations. Personally, I use it as a reminder to check my ego at the door. Sometimes we’re so caught up in what people think of us that we forget to be honest and open.  Ditching the ‘cool cap’ is a reminder to approach every situation with honesty and an open mind so that we can learn and grow.

Zoe: How do you balance your successful blog, school, and other activities?
Shontal: With a lot of planning! When it comes to these aspects of my life I am a very rigid planner. I use two separate agendas throughout the year (one as an editorial calendar and one for everything else) and live by lists. I also try to make the most of my ‘free time.’ For example, if I have a couple of hours in between classes – I’ll use that as an opportunity to either get class reading done or write and schedule a blog post. I’m also a notorious morning person and by starting my days early, I get a few extra hours of productivity in!

Zoe: What is the best part about being a student in college? 
Shontal: I would have to say learning! Whether it be in an academic setting or life lessons – I just love to learn! I have had such an amazing time learning more about science and myself. Being far away from home has made me a more independent person as well!

Special thanks to Shontal again for the interview, and definitely make sure to check out The Preppy Scientist

If you have answers to any of the questions I asked Shontal, feel free to let me know in the comments! 

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