Among the sea of red graduation robes at this year’s winter commencement will be 15-year-old Jack Rico. His bachelor degree in history will be his first from UNLV but fifth one total. He started his undergraduate journey at UNLV in August 2020 but had already received four associates degrees prior.
After graduation, Rico wants to enroll in more classes in different areas of study before he decides exactly what to focus on for his master’s. And once he finishes finals, he's ready to play the Spiderman video game on his new PS5.
What was a highlight of your undergraduate career at UNLV?
Moving to a new city, taking classes on campus, and being in the classroom again. I really enjoyed all of it.
What was your favorite class?
I honestly loved all the classes I took. The majority of my classes were through the history or film departments, and every class taught me something different.
What was one thing that surprised you about your experience at UNLV?
My favorite thing was the food court in the Student Union. I was sad Steak 'n Shake was closed my first two semesters but I’ve eaten there every day I’m on campus since it’s been open.
I was also surprised at just how big the campus is. Finally, it was surprising how many resources are available to us at UNLV. I felt extremely supported in my research through the library and online access to support materials.
How did you adapt to your busy school schedule?
In my first two semesters, I was on it. I managed my time really well and made sure I completed all assignments on time. This semester it has been a little more difficult for me to stay motivated. I missed my very first assignment ever in college a few weeks ago. That was enough to push me back on track. I started writing down everything again and making sure I’m staying organized. I have a PS5 still in the box staring at me, but I promised myself I'm not going to open it until after finals.
What do you do when you aren’t studying or traveling for school?
I just moved by the beach in California so we go for bike rides every day. I made some new friends since we moved so we go over to each other’s houses and hang out and eat dinner a few days a week. On the weekends I see my cousins who play football and are cheerleaders at their high school football games. When I’m not doing all of that, I’m playing video games.
How does it feel to be among UNLV’s youngest graduates?
It feels awesome! I worked really hard but I also had a lot of support. All my professors and classmates have been awesome. A huge thank you to my mom for driving me back and forth from California to UNLV every week so that I could take classes on campus.