I’ve been part of the Lehigh Family since I was a child.
Countless times, my father — part of the class of 1980 — took me to football games at Goodman Stadium at a young age. I remember running around on the grass, trying to catch the football after the kicker made a field goal.
I always heard about the wrestling team beating some of the top teams in the country, all the hills that had to be climbed on campus and the meaningful, lifelong connections formed at Lehigh.
Before enrolling as an undergraduate student, I spent a month on campus taking classes and forming strong connections with friends and professors in between my junior and senior year of high school.
That was when I knew Lehigh was a place where I could thrive and happily spend four years of my life.
After applying Early Decision in 2017, I was deferred and my chances of attending Lehigh felt very uncertain to me. At the time, I took it as a rejection and believed I would never wind up here.
But flash forward three months later, I remembered that I had another chance to be accepted to my dream school. I remember anxiously waiting for the decision to come out in late March and finally reading the words: “Congratulations! We are delighted to offer you a place in the class of 2022 at Lehigh University.”
It was one of the happiest days of my life. I understood how much hard work it took to get myself to that point and all the obstacles and challenges I overcame in doing so.
I knew I was going to be part of a special community and network.
Everyone talks about CJ McCollum, a member of the Lehigh basketball team which beat Duke University in March Madness and eventually became a star in the NBA.
But I remember in high school, seeing him as the sideline reporter during NBA All-Star Weekend. That moment made me realize that he was a talented journalist and I told myself, “I want to be like him one day.”
Even though Lehigh isn’t a school known for journalism and communications, I believed the department could help me develop into a successful reporter and succeed in the future like they have done with many other famous journalists.
Joining The Brown and White as a first-semester freshman was one of the best decisions I made at Lehigh. I’m grateful that I took on essential leadership roles and have been surrounded by students and faculty who are so passionate about the work.
Those are the environments I thrive in the most.
But more importantly, I learned more about the value of journalism, especially during a period where its role was criticized and questioned by society. I’m appreciative that I also got to report on history and keep the public informed when it felt like the sky was falling.
Here I sit, four years later, less than a month away from graduating.
My time at Lehigh has been memorable and thrilling, but I’ve also encountered lots of personal challenges along the way. I would have never imagined myself participating in online school for three semesters, but that goes for everybody.
Any hurdles and mistakes I made along the way helped me become a more mature person and a better version of myself.
College is so much more than classroom learning and wild parties on the weekends.
My Lehigh experience will also be remembered for all of the informative conversations about life, insane debriefs from the night before, jokes with friends, late night food runs, trips — the list goes on.
But something that I’ve believed throughout my life is that things happen for a reason. You’re meant to be in certain situations and there’s also a purpose behind every decision.
There are so many moments from my college experience where if this occurred or that didn’t, my experience would have been a lot different.
There were times when I thought something was right for me, but it didn’t work out at the end of the day. And that’s OK.
Even though not everything went my way while at Lehigh, that is life and it was meant to be the way it was.
Maybe if there wasn’t a global pandemic, I wouldn’t appreciate some of the more trivial aspects of college that I started cherishing.
Everything in life will work out the way it’s supposed to, even if you’re questioning the situation you’re in, or the path you’ve been taking so far.
That’s how I will continue to approach the next phase of my life.
A very healthy attitude and outlook!
Beautifully written and a wonderful story. I know you will have much success in the future since you are so passionate.. I know your family must be so proud. You are indeed a chip off the old block!!