You snooze, you lose

Alumni Laureate Scholar doesn’t want to miss a thing

You snooze, you lose

By Megan Schmidt '07

There's a popular saying that boils down the typical college student's top three priorities, then asks them to make an important decision.

“Good grades, a social life or enough sleep,” the saying goes. “Pick two.”

For Benjamin Zauski, the choice was an easy one. For him, a “good night's sleep” is about five hours. More often, however, the Alumni Laureate Scholar slumbers just two hours a night.

Zauski first visited BGSU when he was a high school junior. He remembers the instant feeling of both comfort and excitement he felt walking around campus for the first time.“I sleep very little,” Zauski, 20, admits. “I just decided early on that sleeping wasn't as important to me as having the best college experience I can possibly have. I can sleep later.”

Zauski is used to the sacrifice. A desire to get ahead, but also to have fun doing it, has been propelling him since high school.

He earned 63 credit hours through AP coursework from his high school in Rochester, New York, before his freshman year at BGSU even began. On his first day of class, he'd already accumulated enough credits to be considered a college junior.

But rather than graduate early, Zauski instead chose to double major in statistics and economics. He'll graduate with his bachelor's degree in August.

“In second grade, I wanted to be a math teacher. Math has always been fascinating to me,” he said. “Now I think I want to do something math-oriented, but in the business world. Whether that's banking or finance or actuarial science, I don't know yet.”

Zauski first visited BGSU when he was a high school junior. He remembers the instant feeling of both comfort and excitement he felt walking around campus for the first time.

“When I saw other campuses, I'd think to myself, 'I could make this place work,' but when I visited BGSU, I had this completely different feeling of, 'No matter what, I know this place will work for me.' I liked the size of the school, I liked the town—I just had a good feeling about it.”

The second time he returned to campus, it was to interview for the Alumni Laureate Scholarship.

He vividly remembers the day he was accepted.

“My basketball team had just played one of our big rivals, and it was about one in the morning when I got home,” he said. “My dad was still awake and he came outside to greet me in a Bowling Green T-shirt and he said, 'I'm sorry, but I opened your mail, because I knew you got it.'”

After enrolling, Zauski began to find his place in the BGSU community. He became a math tutor for the Learning Commons and joined Vanguard, an organization of about 400 members that mentors the next generation of men to effectively lead, serve and communicate. This year, he was promoted to head tutor and is president of Vanguard, and is also involved with the Actuarial Science Society and Honors Scholars, a group that meets to discuss books, ethics, culture and philosophy, among other topics.

Despite how much time is spent studying, Alumni Laureate Scholars still find plenty of time for fun, Zauski said.

“Sports and working out are huge sources of stress relief for me,” said Zauski, who plays club badminton, basketball with his roommates and a variety of other intramural sports. He also makes time for events like music festivals, comedy shows and football games.

As he finishes up his third and final year at the University, Zauski is also pondering his next move. He's considering an accelerated master's program in financial economics, but is keeping his options open, he said.

 “I could end up taking a job in London or Hong Kong or L.A. or Columbus or Baltimore — I really don't know,” he said. “I'm open to multiple scenarios.”