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Tigers of the Valley: Katherine Atkinson

Photo courtesy of David Perez
Katherine Atkinson

Katherine Atkinson, a junior animal and veterinary sciences major, is not particularly fond of sheep. This testament is highlighted with a story from a livestock exhibition class that Atkinson took.
“I showed a sheep and she ran away from me and it was very embarrassing. But it makes a funnier story.” Atkinson said. “Would you rather hear someone say ‘I showed a sheep and she ran away from me and it was a fiasco but we caught her and it was great!’ or would you rather get ‘I was in a sheep show; I got second place.’”
Atkinson’s positive attitude shows even through the highs and lows of her animal focused curriculum. One of her classes had her milk a cow, which resulted in her getting kicked in the face by one.
“It hurt a little bit but I wasn’t injured,” Atkinson explained. She continued, talking about the difference between the hands-on classes she takes and the more hard science courses that are required. “I really love those classes because that’s more of what I will be doing. I don’t like sitting in a lecture learning about what happens if I decelerate my car south bound at five mph.”
“When I was in high school I knew for sure I wanted to be a veterinarian,” Atkinson said.
However, Atkinson has many other interests aside from just veterinary science. She has played guitar for six years and is currently learning how to skateboard. She is also the president and founder of the Clemson Doodle Club, a club “for people to come together and doodle across Clemson!”
Atkinson explained that this was a club she had considered since her freshman year and that it attracts a variety of individuals.
Atkinson said, “I notice that actually a lot of people who come are science [majors] or something completely unrelated to art and I think they are in a similar boat where they just want to be in an environment where they can create and take away the pressure of academics.”
Atkinson’s club isn’t officially recognized by Clemson yet, although it meets every week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Atkinson said, “But it feels official, because a lot of people come and a lot of people seem to enjoy it. And I feel like it helps a lot of people relax and have this nice friendly environment. I’m really happy I did it.”
As far as how she relaxes when she’s stressed out, Atkinson said, “I love when I’m stressed out, just going out with people and spending time with friends. And just playing games or talking, I love bonding with people. If I had to pick, that’s my favorite thing to do when I’m stressed, is getting together with people, because it makes me feel loved. And it’s just very calming being around people that I love.”
Atkinson also had some words of advice for new students.
“Two things, one is get involved. Either join an organization where you can make close friends because it is good to have that network,” Atkinson said. “And two, just take your time, if it takes a long time to figure out who you are that’s ok, I am still figuring out who I am, but I feel like I am different from who I was when I first came here. I feel like I am more open minded, don’t care too much about what people think about you.”

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