Every morning, Honors College student Mary Kate McClintock hits her alarm,puts on her running shoes and starts her run through the University of Alabama campus before she begins her day full of classes, extracurricular activities and meetings that she has to attend.
The junior from Greenville, South Carolina came to the University of Alabama because of the school atmosphere and Honors College opportunities and programs that the school has to offer. This school was the best fit for her, McClintock said.
“I really like all of the programs that the Honors College offers to help students get more involved in the community like Outdoor Action and READ Alabama. I also like how welcoming all of the faculty and staff are. The Honors College also makes the university feel a little smaller through the friends I have made in different Honors College programs,” McClintock says.
Many freshmen arrive to college holding off on joining clubs or teams to weigh out their time commitments. This wasn’t the case for McClintock. She wasn’t afraid to take those opportunities given to her, especially coming to school as an out-of-state student. Not only is McClintock a full-time student majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in Kinesiology, she is now a student leader for Outdoor Action, a member of Delta Gamma fraternity, a READ Alabama mentor, a member of Cardinal Key junior honor society, an Honors Connections mentor, and she coaches middle school volleyball in the fall for the Tuscaloosa Parks and Recreation Association.
As advice to incoming Honors College freshman, McClintock says, “I would recommend them not to wait to get involved. Outdoor Action and Alabama Action are both awesome programs that they can get involved in even before classes start. I met some of my very best friends doing Outdoor Action, and it really made me feel at home as soon as I got to college.”
Outdoor Action is a weeklong program that takes place a week before school starts in the fall for 80 Honors College incoming freshmen and 20 student leaders.
“We went canoeing one day, spent a day doing outdoor service projects in Holt and Demopolis, spent two days cleaning up Hurricane Creek, and we also spent a day hiking at the Arboretum. A lot of the students in the program are out-of-state, and this week is a really good opportunity for them to learn about Tuscaloosa, get situated at college, and make new friends before classes begin,” McClintock says.
When McClintock isn’t busy studying for an Exercise Science test or attending a meeting for one of her many extracurricular activities, she tries to get outside as much as possible.
“I love to run, go on hikes, picnics and so on,” she says.
On days where she isn’t able to enjoy a run in the warm Tuscaloosa weather, McClintock finds indoor activities to keep her busy.
“I am a bit of a Netflix junkie, and can spend lazy afternoons watching TV shows when I have the time. I also love to go out for dinner or frozen yogurt with my big, little and grand-little at least once a week just to spend some time with them,” she says.
McClintock says that in order to manage her schoolwork, club commitments and social life, she has learned to go with the flow.
“Sometimes, I feel a little overwhelmed with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but I have learned that this is just a part of life. I have learned that as long as I work hard and avoid procrastinating, I can get everything done that needs to be done.”
In five years, McClintock hopes to be working in a Cardiac Rehabilitation clinic with English and Spanish-speaking patients. For now, McClintock says she will return home for the summer to work, shadow exercise physiologists in different settings, and enjoy one last summer at home with her family.