Life as an Honors Student

Student sitting at their wooden desk in a dorm. The female student has long dark brown wavy hair and is wearing a brown and white plaid shirt with a grey sweatshirt underneath. The student is looking at a notebook and has a laptop and book in front of her on the desk. In the background is a poster with green plants and then her dorm room door open showing a hallway with grey carpet for the residence hall.

March 06, 2024
Annabel Sallinger '26
My name is Annabel Sallinger, and I am a first year nursing student, participating in the honors program. I am from Portland, Oregon, and I chose to attend Gonzaga for the strong sense of community and the amazing nursing program.

I first learned about the GU Honors Program when I toured the school, in the fall of my senior year of high school. I didn’t know much about it, but I heard that it was a great way to build community, so I decided to apply.

In reality, the Honors Program turned out to be a great way to meet people, but it was also so much more. My first year of college started with an honors orientation where I was able to meet a lot of my professors, learn what college life would look like, and meet all the other students in the honors program. Starting college was quite intimidating to me, and the honors orientation was a gentle introduction that helped to quell my fears. I am so grateful to have had that introduction to life in college before classes started.

I also chose to live in the honors dorm during my freshman year. It was there that I met some of my closest friends. Throughout my first year, the honors dorm has provided a wonderful environment for both learning/studying and making time to have fun. I have had so many new experiences during my time living there, such as meeting new people through the weekly dorm dinners and watching presentation night at a dorm event. I am also always being introduced to new ideas and new hobbies by my peers, including intramural sports and volunteering at the local animal shelter. Being a part of the Honors Living-Learning Community (LLC) has helped me find a great balance between academics and other hobbies during my first year. There is always someone who is willing to help support me if there is a subject that I am struggling with.

Academically, Honors students participate in a first-year seminar together during their first semester, as well as a communications and philosophy class. Not only did this allow me to get to know my fellow students and learn from and work with many different people, but it also helped me create connections with my professors. Through my first year, I have met and developed relationships with many professors, who have provided me with a great support system at school. I can go to them if I have a question about the class content, but they also have so much insight to share, both about their subjects, and life in general.

As a nursing major, the idea of pursuing the honors program was a bit intimidating to me at first. I have actually found that in many ways, it has made my schedule more manageable. Many honors classes combine multiple credit requirements. It has also introduced me to class subjects that I might not have taken otherwise. Some of my favorite classes I have taken during my time at Gonzaga have been part of the honors curriculum, such as Foundations of the West, which is a really interesting history course.

I am so grateful that I am a part of this community. I have learned so much, and it has been a wonderful addition to my college experience. Especially during my first year, which had the potential to be overwhelming and intimidating, the honors program helped me build community and learn how to be successful in my classes and make the most of my college experience.



Please note that our Honors applications have closed and decisions have been sent for the Fall of 2024. However, interested students are welcome to apply during their first year at GU to start the Honors Program in their second year!


If you have questions about Gonzaga’s Honors Program, please reach out to Aaron Danowski at 509-313-6571 or at

If you are interested in learning more, check out our Honors Program website!