COLUMN: At CM Life, I found my people and my passion


One of the first classes I took at Central Michigan University ended with me in tears, eating lunch alone in my car. 

As a transfer student, I struggled a lot to find my place at CMU. I felt like there was no one like me here. The college I earned my associates degree at was much smaller and I knew a lot of students already. 

Coming to CMU was a culture shock that I was not prepared for. Living off-campus also made it really difficult for me to meet new people and become part of the campus culture. I saw my time at CMU, not as an experience, but as a stepping stone for building my future with my fiancé. 

After my first few classes, I decided I wanted to get my degree and leave Mount Pleasant as soon as I could. 

I did make a few close friends in the graphic design program, but it wasn’t until I came to Central Michigan Life that I realized there were actually a lot of people like me at CMU. 

I spent two years holding CMU and my Mount Pleasant friends at an arm's length because I was afraid to get involved, I was afraid to say yes. I made myself an outsider because I felt there was no place for me. Thanks to my friend Madison Skop, saying yes to CM Life showed me there's a place for everyone here and it doesn't have to be what you expected it to be.

I would have never guessed that accepting a job as lead designer at a student-led newspaper would give me more than just design experience. I found friends and mentors here, allowing me to open up more to my friends in my graphic design capstone class in my senior year. 

I would have never guessed in a thousand years that I would be hosting Kreepy Kulture, the horror podcast I share with my friend and coworker Tyler Clark. It helped me build the confidence and experience to help create a graphic design capstone exhibition I will be proud of for the rest of my life. This job gave me more than portfolio pieces, it gave me my own place at CMU. 

If I had any advice to a freshman or transfer student starting here I would tell them to say "yes."

Even if an opportunity doesn’t work out, just try it. You never know what you can find by just trying something new. I never thought working with a bunch of journalism students would change how I thought about this university.

I never knew I was surrounded by potential friends that I wouldn’t even give a proper chance to. Let this opportunity be just that, not just a stepping stone to the next thing. I started my time here wishing for it to be over and now I’m in tears, knowing how much I’ll miss everyone I met and everything I built here.

Take the time to say yes to your adventure and your potential friends here, because you’ll blink and it will be over.