Same, But Different

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my time as an undergraduate student, as one does when graduation looms nearer, and I’m proud to say that I’ve experienced lots of personal growth. I have stayed true to myself and retained my best qualities, but I feel that my experiences from 18-22 have helped me progress.

Walking around campus during my last few weeks as a senior, I can’t help but think about where I was four years ago compared to now. Certain buildings and places around our university spark up memories from freshman year and the feelings I felt back then, the thoughts that consumed me, and the things that mattered in that moment.

Bergoglio Hall

My freshman year residence hall. I remember moving in on August 6, 2019 for my first Division I soccer preseason. I was incredibly nervous for what was to come as I lugged my stuff up to the third floor. I met my roommates, my teammates, and other friends in this building. I started my college career here as an ambitious yet hesitant little freshie. The transition was harder than I thought it would be and I did not yet realize all that I would do while at SHU. My time unfortunately got cut short in Berg due to Covid-19.

Now when I walk through Bergoglio Hall when I’m giving a tour, I always start off by saying, “This is my favorite place I have ever lived,” and it’s true. Not all the memories are perfect, but it was the start of my journey and probably one of the nicest freshman residence halls in the country. I walk past the multimedia room and remember all the nights I spent watching games and movies with my friends. Just the smell of Berg itself brings me back and gives a sense of nostalgia to when my time here was just beginning.

JP’s Diner

My favorite dining option on campus by far. There is nothing more Long Island than a diner so naturally it makes me think of home. One of my first times on campus, my dad and I stopped at JP’s for coffee, they didn’t open the registers yet so it was on the house; a great first impression. My freshman year, the diner was open until 1am on weekdays and 3am on weekends. Getting some diner food late at night without leaving campus was the best. And freshman year I was balling with the Big Red Meal plan, so I went quite frequently with friends and family. The nachos and mozzarella sticks were my favorites.

Today, it’s probably still my favorite dining spot. It’s a place filled with memories of good company. The menu has changed over the years, but the good vibes have stayed the same. It’s so unique and one of the places I love to showcase on tours.

Martire Center

Living right next door my freshman year, I liked having my classes here. I distinctly remember having my Intro to Media Culture block at 8am and stopping at Einstein’s for breakfast beforehand. Then I would head over to Experiencing Literature before walking out the back entrance to soccer practice. I did not know what the Spectrum Newspaper or The Pulse or what anything really was beyond my classrooms. I was determined to never be late and to achieve Dean’s list right from the start.

Martire is my second home at this point. I always joke that I live here because of the many hours a week I spend there. The Spectrum office is my second room. The people I’ve got to work with and everything I’ve been able to produce in my four years here amazes even myself sometimes. I am so grateful for the academic and media opportunities this building has provided me.

Park Ave Field

Being an athlete is a major part of my identity and my time on SHU Women’s Soccer has helped me grow significantly. As a freshman, I did not want to step on anyone’s toes or ruffle any feathers. I was there to pass fitness and be a team player. I had a rough first season, having to red-shirt and I knew I had a lot of work cut out for me.

In 2023, I feel excited and blessed to be able to compete on this team. Those hot days in August really suck sometimes, but doing it with your team makes it worth it. As a captain for the program now, things like the smell of the turf reminds me of how far I have come and how little time I have left with this program. Being a student-athlete at Sacred Heart has been one of my greatest honors.

I’m the same individual that fell in love with SHU and the opportunities that the future holds. I’m the same girl who craves leadership and success and the same athlete who loves to compete and work hard. I’m the same, but different, in the best way.

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