#MyPathToSeniorWalk: Abby Goldsmith Finds Her Home at the U of A

Abby Goldsmith
Photo by Whit Pruitt

Abby Goldsmith

When Abby Goldsmith, originally from Tulsa, started classes at the U of A in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic had completely disrupted campus life.

“As a freshman in the midst of the pandemic, I recognized that my class has faced unprecedented challenges when it came to making connections as first-year students,” she says.

“It was definitely different. I didn’t really know what I was missing out on.”

At first, Abby found community through the Kappa Delta sorority. “I have met friends and leaders who encourage me to pursue what I am truly passionate about,” she says. “Overall, being a part of a group of women who accept me as my true and full self has been one of the largest sources of connection I have found.”

Once she was able to safely enjoy all the campus has to offer, she says felt at home right away. “The beautiful campus at the U of A quickly became a home away from home for me,” she says. “The incredible sense of school spirit at the U of A makes me feel especially proud to call myself a Razorback.”

However, like many freshmen, Abby struggled with finding the right academic program that fit with her passions and career goals. “I have always known that I have wanted to make an impact on the food system in my community and began my collegiate career majoring in engineering,” she says. But as she continued her coursework, she says, she felt discouraged when it didn’t feel like her career goals were aligning with what she was learning. 

“I knew I needed a shift to discover what I was truly passionate about but was unsure of where to turn,” she says. So she made an appointment with the Career Studio to talk about major exploration. She says that consultation helped her to see that her interests aligned best with a major in food science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

She was so appreciative of the guidance she received from the Career Studio that she wanted to get involved in it herself, leading her to take a job there as a career peer mentor. 

But her energy for building community didn’t end there. In addition to her peer mentoring job, she is also involved in the Food Science Club and serves as treasurer of the UARK Sexual Violence Prevention Association, a place she says has given her a safe space to connect with other survivors of sexual violence. “This feeling of safety and comfort has been a game-changer for me and has allowed me to connect more deeply with our campus community,” she says.

“Most of all, the culture of kindness at the U of A has given me the opportunity to cultivate so many deep and meaningful friendships!” she says.

Now a senior, she says the sense of community and belonging she found on campus is what has kept her here over the last three years. “I have found friends with similar passions in the Food Science Club, belonging through my relationships with my coworkers in the Career Studio, community in the Sexual Violence Prevention Association and a feeling of being able to give back in a big away within Greek Life,” she says. 

“My experience at the U of A would not be complete without the belonging I have found in these unique spaces.”

For more student success stories like Abby's, check out some of our previous #MyPathToSeniorWalk features: Erick SotoKennedy HicksRachell Sanchez-SmithGary JacksonIsmael SalgadoAngel WilliamsMichaela Parks, Gerson Fajardo-Bruhl and others at our #MyPathToSeniorWalk website. If you have a story that you'd like told or know someone who has an inspiring story, please check out the nomination form.

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