This year is my last as an undergraduate student at Seattle University. Over the past four years of my time here, I’ve gotten to think about all of the opportunities that I have become so grateful for. As I enter into this week of Thanksgiving, I took the time to reflect on my gratitude for my experiences as a student here.
Seattle University has provided me with a home. Being from Hawai’i across the Pacific Ocean, I was afraid that I would not find a sense of belonging. However, because of the strong community here, I have found my place. From my first year of college living in Campion Hall in the Health and Wellness Learning Community, I discovered a place that I was fairly confident would be a comfortable home for me. I found home in the third floor study spaces in Piggott overlooking the Atrium, in the Writing Center at the Lemieux Library, in the smell of coffee wafting from the Bottom Line, and in the familiar faces around campus. I’ve been able to find people here that make it feel like home—mentors, friends, professors, classmates. I proudly accept and embrace my identity as a Redhawk because of this pride for my new home. For this, I am grateful.
Seattle University has provided me with challenge. Academically, physically, emotionally, this institution has pushed me to my limits for the better. It has forced me to question my pre-dispositions, my assumptions, and my sense of self. Each day has presented itself with a new challenge whether it be how many miles I will run at the Eisiminger Fitness Center on that given day, how well I do on my Global and Domestic Macroeconomics midterm, or how I approach someone that I’ve been nervous to. Each day is different and keeps me on my toes keeping the experience all the more exciting. Although there is some routine, there is always opportunity for change and challenge here. For this, I am grateful.
Seattle University has provided me with the opportunity of self-discovery. I could not imagine who I would be if I hadn’t chosen Seattle University. The holistic Jesuit education has truly made an impact on who I am today. The conversations that have presented themselves have allowed me to delve deeply into places of vulnerability that have shaped my perception on life and have allowed me to think critically about my space in the world. I've been able to discuss topics around diversity, intersectionality, academic elitism, and equity with my peers in different areas around campus. I've been able to heal in rough times with the people on campus and with the help of the resources provided like CAPS or HAWC, which has lead to my ability to discover myself even further. My time here has affirmed my passion for people; it has aided my vocational discernment; it has helped me find myself or at least parts of myself. For this, I am grateful.
Seattle University has provided me with a hope for the future. The past few years here have been formative. This school has given me a toolbox that I will bring with me outside of its walls. Although it has taken my own time and effort to get me to where I am, I worked collaboratively with the resources offered to me by the university. I've immersed myself into this idea and this certainty that I will do something greater and I have it in me to change the world because of the empowerment this school has provided me with. Without Seattle University investing into me as a person, me as a student, me as a humanitarian, me as a leader, I would not be as confident I am about the days that lay ahead. For this, I am grateful.
This Thanksgiving season, I wanted to make sure that I acknowledged the university that has given me so much. I wanted to acknowledge the people here who have given me so much. I wanted to acknowledge the experiences here that have given me so much. It is a privilege to be a member of this Seattle University community. Happy Thanksgiving.
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” – Brené Brown
The Union Green on a Fall Morning
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