As a Mercyhurst student, I have a lot that I could gripe and moan about.
My department is down to two professors. There are no classes in my concentration being offered next semester, and even when they will be offered next spring, they will be taught by someone outside of that area of expertise.
The activities I am involved in are getting budget cuts or losing funding. This is the reality.
Despite what I perceive to be the best efforts put forth by the new administration to remedy the institution’s structural and financial woes, I believe, as a paying consumer, I have the right to be upset about these issues.
This is my college education we’re talking about. Yet somehow, when I think about Mercyhurst, these are not the first issues that come to mind.
When I look back in 10, 20 or 30 years at my college experience, I do not think I will remember the frustrations of being a student amidst a university in slight turmoil. Because at least for me, Mercyhurst has meant so much more than academics.
When I think of Mercyhurst, I think of caring mentors.;professors that make special appointments just to meet with you, and professors that want to see you succeed.
I think of staff that work long hours to advise clubs and plan events and look out for my personal and spiritual well being. I think of the people I can go to when I am having a bad day or when I want to share exciting news.
When I think of Mercyhurst, I think of community. I can not walk across campus without running into someone I know or seeing a friendly face.
I think of the friends I would like to keep in touch with for my entire life. I think of the people I have met and the cultures I have experienced from around the globe, all right here in Erie, Pa., or across the sea in Dungarvan, Ireland.
When I think about my past three years here, I see tremendous growth within myself, and I owe part of it to the opportunities I have found at this little castle on the hill.
Every time I start to get comfortable, I find a new chance to stretch outside my comfort zone. Mercyhurst has given me not only the opportunity, but the confidence to take it.
If you had told me as an incoming freshman that in a few years’ time I would be living on another continent for three months, or editing a college newspaper or leading a retreat for over 50 students, I do not think I would believe you.
I do not mean to get too mushy here, and this is not meant to be free PR, but the point I want to get across is that I love this school and its community.
I have come to respect the traditions and adopt the core values. I have come to cherish friendships, appreciate the hands-on experience and learn more than I ever expected I would.
I may not have the biggest or most updated apartment building, but when I walk out onto Lewis Avenue and head towards our beautiful campus for an 8 a.m. class, coffee in hand, I cannot help but be grateful for where God has brought me.
Even after I graduate next year, I will always know that #HurstisHome.