My road to St. Norbert was not the typical one that my fellow graduating seniors experienced. For one thing, as a De Pere native, I did not want to go to SNC at all. I refused my mother’s request to apply here because I felt it was “too close to home” and none of her protestations of how good a school it was could convince me otherwise.
So I attended another undergraduate institution for all of half of a semester during my freshman year before I was forced to leave because of a depressive episode. Needless to say, after that, I was really lost about where I belonged and I felt that I had somehow missed out on the amazing college experience that I was supposed to have had.
But then I came to St. Norbert. After my disastrous first semester elsewhere, I transferred here my second semester freshman year and found my home.
Originally, I thought I was just going to be here for one semester while I completed Gen Ed’s, lived at home and decided where I wanted to go next. However, within a few months, I realized that I wanted to stay at St. Norbert for good.
I met friends here who I will treasure for the rest of my life and after moving onto campus my sophomore year, I made some of the craziest, nerdiest and fun memories that I have ever had. Quite simply, I love St. Norbert.
This campus took me in when I felt that I had nowhere else to go. SNC accepted me with open arms when I did not want to accept myself. At this small liberal arts school, I learned who I was and more importantly I learned what it meant to belong to a community.
I learned to love the study of Middle Eastern History here; I also took my first ever women and gender studies class (which turned into a minor). Both of these academic experiences changed my life and how I think about the world.
The professors that I have had here at SNC and the things that they have taught me both inside and outside of the classroom are truly special. I could never have had the kind of opportunities that SNC has given me anywhere else.
I have had the privilege of meeting a world renowned Egyptian artist and having coffee with one of the foremost human rights scholars in the world. I am who I am because of what I learned here.
SNC is far from perfect, there are many things that need to change on this campus regarding acceptance of those who do not adhere to Catholic teachings. But I have enough faith in St. Norbert to believe that in the end communion will win out over hatred.
This school helped me grow from an awkward 18-year-old to a 22-year-old who is scared witless about her future. I like who I have become and the person SNC has nurtured in me. What I learned at SNC will always stay with me although I am thousands away from our snow covered campus.