I am a junior at Unity College majoring in Captive Wildlife Care and Education. I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Little Maimi High School in 2009.

This blog is about my life at Unity College. It will explain about the college from a students eyes because they are the ones who actually live it. Feel free to check in often and leave messages and ask questions.



28 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Danielle Thompson on April 15, 2011 at 1:28 am


    I am a sophomore in high school and have started looking for colleges. I was extremely surprised to find that what you are doing is almost exactly what I would like to do. Also I am a VolunTeen at the Cincinnati Zoo. It is the best experience of my life and I am doing it again this summer. I was wondering if you could explain to me what career or job you plan on pursuing after college. I am nervous about college and I want to know what I can. Thank you for your help and keep up the awesome work.



  2. Posted by Wave on June 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I love your blog, thanks for keeping us updated.
    However, I have a question. Unity College sounds amazing and like the other comment, you seemed to be heading down the exact path that I would love to. That aside, the graduation rate (54%) at Unity is kind of concerning to my parents, do you have an ideas why it’s so low? Or anything I can tell my parents that would make them more supportive?
    Hope so and keep up the good work,
    W. K. (Portland, Oregon)
    P.S. I am currently attending an all-girls catholic school (though I am not religious or “sheltered” myself, also there are no uniforms involved) will that go over like a ton-a-bricks? Because I’m kind of worried about being judged.


    • The graduation rate is low because Unity is either 100% for you or not at all. You will know if it is or not right away and a lot of people leave after the first semester because it’s not for them. For me, and for many others it’s the only place I’d ever want to be. If you are interested in Captive Wildlife Care & Ed I can promise you that this school is the place for you. If reading my blog is where you see your life going, going to Africa, working in zoos, Unity will get you there. Most people who leave are not in the Captive Wildlife major, they are in the other majors who [in my opinion] are not as strong and awesome as Captive Wildlife is. And for the judging about Catholic schools, don’t sweat that at all. My best friend at Unity went to an all girls Catholic school and no one cares. High school is high school. College is where you get a fresh start. To be who ever you want to be. Hope this helps. Ask me any other questions anytime!!


      • Posted by Shelby on October 31, 2011 at 4:46 am

        I really want to go into wildlife and Captive Wildlife sounds perfect. I was jst curious if you knew of any other colleges that have this major. I would really love to go to Unity honestly my only concern is finding the money and I am from Texas so the weather up ther makes me nervous!

      • Shelby,
        I really do not know any other school with that exact major, or anything close to it. I have not checked around your area but the reason we get so many passionate students from all over the country interested in that major because it really is one of a kind. You’ll probably be able to find a lot of schools with zoology and education but I don’t know about anything else too close to Captive Wildlife Care & Education. If the weather is scaring you, you shouldn’t worry about it. We have many students here from Texas and they all survive just fine. My freshman year I made a snow man with my friend Kathleen (from TX) it was her first snow and first snow man. It’s cold but we all get through it together and that is the greatest part. I hope this helps some.. And for money, just find scholarships! Call our admissions department and they will totally help you out or get you in contact with someone who can provide more help.

  3. Posted by Amanda on July 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I am having some trouble deciding on exactly what major be in at Unity. I am transferring this year from a college in Wisconsin called Northalnd College, which is a small environmental liberal arts college a lot like Unity only slightly bigger and with a wider variety of majors. I had switched majors once while I was there, which was my freshman year, I will only be a sophomore, and I’m thinking I will end up switching at Unity as well. I applied as an environmental biology major, but I’m not sure if that is exactly right for what I want to do in the future and it even seems as if they won’t be offering it anymore as of 2012 and I’m not sure if that will be a problem or not. I think I might want to do a major in Captive Wildlife Care and Education with a minor in wildlife. My question to you is what do you want to do with your degree, where do you see yourself in the future and how do you feel about the program you are in at Unity with that major? Also, do you know how the process goes for switching majors at Unity? It was really easy at Northland, but I’m not sure if it’s that easy at most schools. Sorry to throw so much information at you and ask so many questions, but I hope you can help me. Thanks, Olivia! Hope to hear from you soon!



    • Hi Amanda,

      Don’t be sorry for asking haha that’s my job to help you. As for what I want to do with my degree once I graduate, I plan on moving to Africa and doing whatever I can there until I can hopefully start my own animal rescue place. That takes a lot of time and work [and also a lot of unpaid work] to be able to get yourself to that level but I am willing to do it. I loved working with the elephants at the sanctuary and that is a place I hope to work at one day. Also for my major I could work at a zoo or in an educational setting, teaching people about conservation or animals in some way. I could also possibly see myself doing that too. If you are interested in Captive, wild animals then I’d say captive wildlife care & ed is a great major. You take some really amazing classes and your professors are great and experienced too. Most of the student population who want to do things with animals start out as captive majors and some branch off to other majors that fit them better, but a lot stay. Switching majors is as easy as signing a piece of paper with your new major choice on it. So if you get here and want to switch that is totally fine. People do it all the time. Also about the majors changing in 2012, you will be coming in 2011 so everything will remain the same for you no matter what major you decide as long as you decide before the fall of 2012. Those who are in the old majors can finish with those majors. Hope this helps.


      • Posted by Amanda on July 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

        Thanks Olivia!

        Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Your answer has allowed me to relax a little bit about choosing a major. Also, your reply to Sarahs’s question about internships helped me a lot too. Thank you for staying so on top of things with your blog. You’re a great help. I will probably still talk to an adviser to help me decide on a major, but I think I will probably decide on Captive Wildlife Care and Ed. with a Wildlife minor also. I think I will also email Nicole Collins about internships. Maybe I can find one that will make it easier to decide on my major. Thanks for all the help! By the way, on the website it explains that your First Year Experience leader will be your adviser. At my last school the leader of that class was a student, I’m assuming it won’t be that way at Unity since they turn into your adviser as well. Is that right?

        Thanks again,

  4. Posted by Sarah on July 14, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Hi Olivia,
    My name is Sarah and I am a transfer student from Hocking College which wasn’t for me. I want to be a zookeeper one day and this fall will be my first year at Unity and I am very excited. I know that it is a little early to be thinking about internships, but I am really interested in going to Africa for an internship and working with the lions. I was just wondering if you could give me any information about an internship over seas. Who I would talk to in order to set it up and if it is more like a group internship. I really love lions but Africa is still really far from Ohio. Doing an internship there would be an exciting and yet scary dream.


    • Hi Sarah, that is so cool that you are from Ohio! I am sure you are going to LOVE Unity 🙂 And it definitely is not too early to be already thinking/researching about internships. When you get to Unity they will introduce you to a place called the Career Resource Center, or CRC for short. That is where you will go throughout your whole internship process. They help you research for internships and also have a list of really awesome internships that Unity students have done in the past. So you can go in there and tell them what you are interested in, like lions, and they will show you a list of internships with lions! Then they can help you through your entire application process, like writing your resume and cover letter, and they can even prep you for an interview. You can email Nicole Collins now if you want to get a super head start on this whole process! Nicole is in charge of the CRC and her email is NCollins@unity.edu. She is very nice and will help answer any questions you have and also she can probably give you some links to some really awesome internships! If you have read any of my blogs you will see that I just got back from my internship in Africa and I can tell you it was not scary at all. It was the most amazing experience of my entire life and it definitely prepared me for what my career will hopefully be like one day. I hope this helps you!


  5. Amanda,

    You are right. A professor will teach your Unity Experience class and then you can choose to keep him or her as your adviser.


  6. Posted by Kayla Gallinger on January 20, 2012 at 1:54 am

    i am in grade 11 and i want to get my degree in captive wildlife care and education. i want to become a wildlife rehabilitator. i was just wondering if you knew what hichschool classes to take to get my degree. and i also was wondering how many semesters it takes to get your degree.
    Thanks so much


    • Hi Kayla,

      As for high school credit, Just take as many sciencey/biology classes as possible. My high school anatomy class helped me out and if you have AP biology you could get some early college credit. It will take you 4 years (8 semesters to get your degree typically). Hit me up anytime with more questions 🙂 Glad you are starting early with your college search!


      • Posted by Kayla Gallinger on January 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        Thanks a bunch
        that helped me a lot. Some of my teachers were saying i would have to take physics is that true because i hate physics and ill take it if i have to but if i don’t need it i wont take it.

      • I would say no. Anatomy/Physiology will help you more and anything with biology.

      • Posted by Kayla Gallinger on January 26, 2012 at 2:40 am

        ok thanks im glad i fail at physics

  7. Posted by Genesis Castillo on August 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Hey Olivia!
    I’m Genesis, greeting from Texas! (:
    I will be a senior in an early college high school this year and I’ve started applying for colleges. I wanted to ask you how far away are you from home? Most kids here don’t leave the valley because of money issues and also because people usually never leave. It’s rare when somebody leaves out of state for school. I want to work with animals and maybe work at a sanctuary or an animal park and I think unity is perfect but I know my mother will never let me leave because of the whole Mexican culture. Any advice on leaving far away for school? And how’s the weather? i know it’s cold but how cold? In Texas we don’t get snow….or winter at all. ha-ha 😀


    • Hi Genesis,
      I am 18 hours from home, about 1100 miles. It’s not as far as Texas, but still a good ways. And I feel you, no one in my high school left the state of Ohio or the general area except me and a few others. But I can not tell you how glad I am that I came to Maine. I have learned so much and its so nice to get out of that Ohio bubble that so many people get trapped in. This is the one time of your life that you can do and go anywhere/anything so why not go big. Unity is the place to be if you want to work with animals. I have learned so much here and my internships have taught me how to actually apply what I have learned. Just talk to your mother. Explain to her that this is what you want to do and tell her how important it is to you. Unity is one of a kind. It’s pretty cold up here but you get used to it and deal with it. I deal with it by going skiing every single weekend. I love skiing and it gets me by. Just dress warm and you will be fine. One of my close friends my freshman year was from Texas and I was with her when she built her first snow man. It was very fun and she loved it so much. Good luck in your college search! Let me know any other questions.


  8. Posted by Melissa on August 28, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Hello Olivia, my name is Melissa, I am from Los Angeles California and a junior in high school. I am very interested in majoring in marine biology but I would like to know if you know anyone majoring in this or if you could tell me more about your experience in Unity college. Maine is pretty far from California so I am bit nervous about the distance. Also, how is the weather over there. 🙂


    • Yea Cali is quite different than Maine but trust me, you will adjust just fine. We have quite a few kids at Unity from all over California and they all love it. But I know what you mean, it’s hard to leave home and adjust to a complete different life style. Marine Biology is a great program here, you will take some really cool classes here and even get to go to Costa Rica for one! You will have a lot of your labs right out on the actual ocean, beaches, boats, in the mud, and even some weekends away whale watching, at a marine ecology site, and several more places. I took a few marine biology classes and had tons of fun in them and learned a lot. Feel free to ask me any other questions!


  9. Posted by Devon on August 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Hey Olivia! I just wanted to say Hi. I graduated from Unity in 07′ and myself did an internship @ SLP and returned to the island for 4 years training. Unity & SLP will teach you so so much and take you very far!
    Good Luck!


  10. Olivia, I absolutely love your blog. However, I’m sure I couldn’t attend Unity because it’s in Maine. I live in Texas and I’m sure I couldn’t afford the out-of-state tuition.


    • Unity does not differ with instate and out of state tuition b/c it’s a private college. It’s exspensive, but what school isn’t. If you want to come here, don’t let the distance or $ stop you. You can get good scholarships and loans. Unity is a great environmental school and it has changed my life forever. If you would like more information let me know I can hook you up with someone who can help you out. We have several kids here from Texas, who have fit in and adapted very well to Unity. Keep reading 🙂



  11. Posted by Taelor on September 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Hi Olivia, My name is Taelor and I’m interested in working with exotic animals and possibly becoming an exotic animal veterinarian. The captive wildlife course sounds amazing and the internships that you have done sound exactly like what I want to do. What type of career will the wildlife degree set up for you? What career are trying to work towards? Also Im curious about what the campus looks like at Unity? It seems really small and I’d like to get a better picture since I’ve never been there.


    • Taelor,

      There are many careers you can go into after this major. Zoo keepers, marine mammal trainers, going to africa and working at a sanctuary or wildlife rehab, and many more. As for me, I want to get back to Africa and work at or start my own elephant orphanage and maybe one day get back to marine mammals as a trainer. If you are curious about campus check out this post I wrote a while back: https://oliviaunitycollege.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/virtual-tour-pictures/ It has pictures of Unity and every dorm, building, and other things. It is small, but it suits us perfectly. Unity has only 500 students, but I love that. It’s small and the teachers know you and that is why we love it. You get such a great experience because here, you are not just a #. You are you and everyone knows you. hope this helps.



  12. Posted by Nicholas on December 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Hey there Olivia, I know I’m a little late in the game here, but I’m really interested in going to Unity for Wildlife biology, or possibly their sustainable agriculture degree. I was wondering how you feel about these programs at unity? Sincerely, Nicholas


    • Hi Nicholas sorry I’m’s so late on responding but those programs are both great at Unity. We have all kinds of fields and farms greenhouses and all sorts of growing things on campus so that’s really neat and as for the sustainability aspect you wouldn’t believe how much we do with that. You won’t regret picking one of those majors and you’ll play a small part in saving our planet!


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