All of our students have incredible stories about the journey that brought them to Briar Cliff and how their experience here helped them become who they are today. In our Senior Reflection series, we'll share a few of these stories from students graduating in May 2019. #ThisIsBCU
Kyle Chandler once said: “Opportunity does not knock; it presents itself when you beat down the door.”
Briar Cliff offers so many opportunities to us as students. But you have to make that commitment and jump out there. It wasn’t until I did that that I became the person I truly wanted to be.
My advice to underclassmen is to join that club (even if you aren’t sure), go to that event, meet new people and knock down those doors.
Class of 2019, graduation is the day many of us have been waiting for, for such a long time. Graduation is a day we will look back on in the future as a huge accomplishment.
Four years ago, I would have never guessed this is how my life would be.
Graduation is not only exciting for us, but also our families. My family is excited in a different way. When I was 10 months old, I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. My parents were told I might not live to 15 years old. I have had many hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, medications, and other things I do on a daily basis to live a semi-normal life.
Everyone with this disease is affected differently. It is a genetic lung disease that affects almost every other part of your body. I have had to give up many things because of my disease: playing a sport I loved, making plans with friends, late nights out and outdoor activities in the summer. I have given up so much but giving up my education was not something I was going to let happen. I was very determined to exceed my own expectations and be the best person I could be. This is where I need to thank Briar Cliff for the encouraging professors that understood when I needed to miss class for my health. I have had many setbacks but thanks to them, I was able to stay on track and knock down doors.
I was very shy my freshman year. I came from a graduating class of 40, so even though Briar Cliff is small, it was still a huge difference. I was nervous of being independent and wholly responsible for my health. I didn’t think I was ready, and I was homesick a lot. But one day, I had a boost of confidence and from then on, I have been doing everything necessary to succeed. It wasn’t until sophomore year when I began to spread my wings.
I have worked on campus as an academic peer mentor for two years. I have loved every single second of it because helping students excel and see their improvements is amazing. Jessie McCormick and Maria Cancino have never doubted anything I could do. They were very motivating and encouraging me to do things I would otherwise not have done. Presenting in front of freshmen was something I would not have even considered until they helped me realized what it could do for me. They helped me knock down those doors of opportunity and realize I need to do what is best for me and my future. I have become a stronger leader. I am now a confident woman who knows she can do anything she sets her mind to.
I have been a member of the Briar Cliff Enactus team since sophomore year and this year I was one of the co-presidents. I can’t explain how much experience this organization has given me. I have improved leadership skills, time management, event planning and organizing and leading meetings, which is something I would never have done otherwise. I have made so many friends and connections to the community through this and for that I am so grateful.
I have grown so much over the last four years. Much of this wouldn’t be possible if I was at another university.
I think many of you would agree that the professors here care about us and how we succeed. Professors know you by name, not a number. They want to see us do amazing things. They are always willing to help whenever needed and I know I could go to them in the future if I ever needed anything.
I had made some good friends, some whom I am still close with to this day. Coming from a little town in Iowa, I didn’t grow up with a lot of diversity, or any for that matter. My eyes were opened so much coming into Charger Weekend my freshman year. Not only did I find friends from around Sioux city, but from Ecuador, Kenya, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Vietnam. The experience and knowledge we can learn from different cultures and countries is something you can’t find anywhere else. Diversity is valued at Briar Cliff and I think that is why I felt so comfortable to step out of my comfort zone and be who I am.
Briar Cliff has prepared me for the real world. The faculty has advised me but let me lead my own life. I have learned to surround myself with people that will raise me up and not bring me down.
Briar Cliff isn’t just a school but a community. Everyone says hi to one another and hold doors for each other. BCU is second family and that is what brought me here. When I toured as a senior in high school, it just felt right. Everyone was so welcoming and I know I made the right choice. I have made some forever friends, and the opportunities here have brought me to the people I need in my life. I am forever grateful for the education, knowledge, encouragement, friendships and real-life experience I have received from Briar Cliff University.
From learning community events to our French toast frenzy, stress relief packages and puppy therapy during finals week, to homecoming and spring formal dances, it has been an amazing ride.
I want to personally thank my mom, dad, and brother for being my number one supporters through everything in life. They are truly my rock and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
As we leave here, take all your memories with you. Say goodbye to everyone you need to. Thank your friends and family for supporting you through this journey. And thank your professors for their commitment to your learning and success.
As we close this chapter of our lives, never forget how wonderful life is and don’t ever forget the memories and people you have spent the last four years with. If it wasn’t for them, college would have a different ending. Lastly, congratulate yourself. College is not easy but look Chargers, we did it. So when you are in the real world and opportunity presents itself, knock down those doors and remember the impact Briar Cliff had on you.
As B.B King said: “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” So, as we leave Briar Cliff, know this degree you received is something no one can take from you. You did this. Congratulations, class of 2019.