Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.03.19 AMFor Tanya Omar, the Winona State University experience has been all about learning about herself, trying new things and preparing for all that she will achieve in the future.

While the journey itself hasn’t always been easy, one thing that did come easy for Omar was the decision to attend WSU. Her father, uncle and older brother all attended WSU, and the beautiful campus and proximity to opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, ice-skating and other activities really sealed the deal.

Omar, who will graduate with degrees in cell and molecular biology and pre-medicine, said the most memorable part of her college career was starting a new club on campus. As founder and president of the MEDLIFE Club, she was able to give other students the opportunity to travel abroad and study international medical service.

“These trips led to some of my favorite memories of WSU because I got to travel, connect with fellow WSU students, and develop strong relationships with some professors,” Omar said.

After graduation, Omar looks forward to working as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow in the Physiology and Biomedical Engineering program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. She also plans to study hard for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to apply for medical school.

From all-night study sessions to 8 a.m. classes, Omar acknowledges that all the hard work was worth it, and she’s proud to graduate from WSU. Her college experience also taught her another important lesson: get back up when life knocks you down.

“WSU has made me who I am today. WSU taught me to always fight for what you are passionate about and continue to strive for the best,” Omar said.

Her advice to future WSU students is to follow your passion.

“Never stop becoming you. What you are doing now will determine who you are tomorrow. In many cases, overcoming obstacles is what will make you reach ultimate success,” said Omar. “So don’t be scared to try. Don’t be scared to pursue your passion. The joy is in the journey.”