Student Blog: Senior Reflection Erin Gaitsch | Briar Cliff University

Student Blog: Senior Reflection - Erin Gaitsch

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 2020, and walking in September of 2020. #ThisIsBCU

My name is Erin Gaitsch, I am from Huntley, Illinois and I have a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and computer science. After visiting Briar Cliff and meeting the people and soccer coaches, I knew BCU was the place for me. 

My life as a Charger was great, everything was going smoothly, until my junior year, during a soccer game I fell down and heard a pop in my knee. I had torn my ACL and meniscus and would need surgery. This injury would change my life and my soccer career forever. The rehab was intense, at times I felt like I would never be able to even walk again, let alone run or play soccer. I went through many highs and lows during rehab and finally told myself I would get through this no matter how hard I had to work and how much pain I had to go through. Many workouts and rehab sessions later, I reached my goal and was able to play in the last spring scrimmage of the year.

Flash forward to fall of my senior year: I'm playing soccer again and senior year is falling into place everything is back to normal. Then I started having immense pain in my left calf. I was developing a life-threatening blood clot in my leg. Due to the treatment medication, that was the end of my soccer career after barely getting started again. You can imagine the pain, sadness, and anger I was felt. I tell you about these hard, unfair, and unforgiving life challenges because we are in this together. We have all faced challenges that don't make sense and test us to our limits, however, we have all made it through those challenges and made it here today.

  • We all made it through the late nights (which turned into all nighters) which were needed to complete assignments. I know I had many this year working on my senior project.
  • We all made it through the endless hours of studying that we may or may not have waited until the day before the test to do.
  • We all made it through the days where it seemed like there weren't enough hours in the day.
  • We made it through, managing our time between classes, jobs, clubs, activities, sports, and family.
  • We made it through long-distance relationships with family members, friends, and significant others.
  • We made it through the complexities of navigating college.
  • We made it through the emotional and mental highs and lows with our friends, professors, and classmates by our side.

See the thing is, life challenges do not end here, there will only continue. It is not how many challenges we face that matters, it's how we conquer and learn from them to better ourselves.

Along with the challenges in our lives, it is important to take on things that challenge us. Tackling new challenges allows us to grow and expand our knowledge and become more diversified. Challenges provide opportunities to better ourselves as people and become humbled by the things we accomplish. When we set our minds to it, there is no limit to what we can do.

As we chase our future endeavors after Briar Cliff, I hope we, the Class of 2020, set out to embrace the challenges life throws at us. Let's make it our goal to take on the extra challenge wherever and whenever there may be an opportunity. 

Tags: Campus, Graduation, BCU, Student Life, Commencement, Student Blog