Bay College student Marissa Tuyls, who goes by “Mars” around campus, will transfer from Bay later this year. Mars said they enjoy the academic opportunities and extracurricular activities available at the college.
They graduated from Rock’s Mid Peninsula High School in 2019 and took classes at Bay well before that point. In high school, Mars was part of Bay’s Early College program.
“It was hard because I had to put more thought into my homework,” they said about the program.
“I graduated from high school and went through the ceremony – I just didn’t get my degree signed,” they said.
Though going through the Early College program was not easy, they thought it was ultimately worthwhile.
“I was glad to be able to get that done. I definitely improved my writing,” Mars said.
According to Mars, their time at Mid Pen sparked their interest in human services – which was initially their major at Bay.
In addition to their studies, Mars has gotten involved with multiple clubs at Bay. The organizations they have been a part of include Bay’s P.R.I.D.E. and the Bay College Anime Club. When the latter club’s president was unable to occupy his position for a semester, Mars stepped up.
Mars officially graduated from high school in 2020 and became a full-time student at Bay that year. They earned an associate degree in human services at the end of the fall 2021 semester. Before doing so, they completed an internship in Bay’s office of accessibility to meet a requirement for their degree.
“I really enjoyed being there. Not only was it good to have nice coworkers, but the work was really rewarding,” they said.
After graduating from Bay, Mars was unsure what to do. Ultimately, they decided to take another semester at Bay as a social work major. They plan to transfer to Northern Michigan University this fall, continuing their studies on that topic there.
Mars said their goal is to earn their master’s degree at NMU by 2026. Then, they plan to look for work in the field, potentially returning to Escanaba for that purpose.
Regardless of what happens in the future, Mars voiced their appreciation to Bay College for helping them take the first step.
“The teachers and other people around here are really nice, and they want you to succeed. The fact that you’re able to find your group and feel accepted is awesome,” they said.