Fidel Pena ’20

Learning to Love Learning
UNH nutrition and wellness major Fidel Pena '20

Fidel Pena ’20, who is a nutrition and wellness major, has discovered that college is more than just a means to an end. The first in his family to attend college, Pena has learned the value of personal relationships with his peers and professors and discovered the satisfaction that comes from diving deep into a subject that matters to him.

COLSA: Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why?

Fidel Pena: I am most proud of the relationships built with faculty and students. When I came to UNH, I was very headstrong and ignored building relationships. I thought that I had to come in, get my grades, and graduate. That made for a very hard and boring experience. My interactions with professors made me realize that I needed to learn instead of just getting the grade. I slowed down to focus on learning and let the grades come.

COLSA: What motivates you?

Pena: My family is my greatest motivation. My goal is to provide for them and be a good example for my brothers.

COLSA: Why did you choose your major?

Pena: Fitness is something very important to me. I enjoy putting it into practice and studying it. I feel that I have gained a solid foundation of fitness (physical activity) over the years but lacked a very important component, nutrition. I would see fad diets circulating the web but never really understood it. I knew that nutrition was key to wellness, performance and health. Nutrition was something that I never paid mind to growing up. I wanted to master something that would benefit me and the people around me greatly.

COLSA: Any advice for students interested in your major?

Pena: Learn. Take the time to understand the material.

COLSA: What are you planning to do after graduation?

Pena: I plan on pursuing a military career as an officer in the army.

COLSA: How is UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?

Pena: As an officer I must support the welfare of soldiers in many ways — mentally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, environmentally, socially and spiritually, which are all components of wellness. I plan on using all the skills I have learned to be the best officer I can be.

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