ELLA KIRBY | NEWS EDITOR
When I began my undergraduate education at Keele University, England, in 2014, I never would have imaged that I would be ending it at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin.
There are an abundance of reasons as to why I am so grateful to be in the position I am today. Firstly, I am truly thankful to my astonishing, supportive and accommodating parents who made my transfer to this college turn from a fleeting wish into a reality. I was also incredibly lucky enough to meet people here that I hope will continue to enrich my life for a very long time. In addition, I have been fortunate enough to have professors that have inspired me, enlightened me, tested my knowledge and encouraged me to ask questions.
It was a huge adjustment for me to pack up my life and place it down in a new school, in a new country, surrounded by new people. I cannot deny that there have been times where it was considerably challenging. Having to endure periods feeling overwhelmed with homesickness for my family and friends in England was certainly no picnic. Nonetheless, now that my time is rapidly, and albeit terrifyingly, drawing to a close at this college, I can say with the most assured heart that coming here was one of the best decisions I made in my life.
I still feel as though I am not entirely qualified to give life advice at the mere age of 21, with far more life experience ahead of me than behind. Nevertheless, what I will say is for being the most advanced species on earth, we should recognize that we can also be uneducated in the most crucial of ways. I encourage you to absorb, learn and ask questions as much as you can; St. Norbert College is certainly a fine place to do so.
Secondly, a crucial part of college is that you are able to receive feedback from your professors and peers, be it positive or constructive. It is not always the easiest process to receive this type of criticism, sometimes it can be downright painful to hear, but use it to your advantage. People give constrictive feedback so you can progress in your given field throughout your college experience.
For anyone that is dealing with homesickness, whether your family is across the globe or under an hour away, the college has a wonderful support network to lean on. Reach out to the counseling services, professors and your peers if you feel the need to do so to help lift the stain. Finally, setbacks will happen; they are unavoidable and deflating, but do not be afraid to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
When I was significantly younger and in the midst of my education, it felt as though I would never see the end of it. I remember my older brother telling me, “Your education is one of the best times you’ll have in life. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.” My response was something along the lines of a disbelieving scoff and thinking “But I have to do homework everyday! I can’t wait until I’m done.”
As much as I have complained throughout my education that I am exhausted, I have too much homework, there are not enough hours in the day or I have too many deadlines, my body and mind rely on the routine that education has given me. Knowing that this particular routine is coming to an end is simultaneously exciting but daunting.
While I write this, I think about all the individuals around the world whose education has been taken away from them due to circumstances out of their control. For a plethora of different reasons, they are unable to go back to education or even begin it, despite the fact that they have a burning desire to learn above all else.
I am so grateful to have been a part of the St. Norbert College community; a college that provides an undoubtedly strong moral framework and centers on the Norbertine principal communio. Furthermore, it encourages students to continually promote this value and others such as Let Us Love One Another, Radical Hospitality, Joy & Hope and Solidarity both during and after their college experience. Receiving my education at St. Norbert College expanded my mind, and I know that it will continue to do so with many other students that pass through its gates.
When people ask me in the future where I received my education, whether it is a job interview, questionnaire or casual conversation, I will reply with a profound pride and blessedness in my heart, “I was a student at St. Norbert College.”
You were, and always will be, just my cup of tea.