One day I came home from school and found a letter in the mail addressed to me from Saint Bens. I thought it was another letter about how great Saint Bens was, (which trust me, they have reason to brag), or possibly another picture of interesting things happening on the raft. I opened it, only half paying attention until I saw it; the number I'd been dreaming of for the last six months. I jumped, completely shocked that I had gotten the full academic scholarship. In that moment, I felt extremely grateful and accomplished; yet I knew that it was not enough.
The first time I came on campus, I got that feeling that I've heard numerous admissions speakers talk about, when you walk on campus and you feel right at home. I instantly knew it was the perfect fit for me. The feeling of community along with the kindness and generosity of everyone here was what struck me; I could truly see myself living here. I was searching for a small liberal arts college where I could learn more about my passion: art, while also exploring other activities and careers. Saint Bens fit that mold perfectly.
Yet, of course, what stood in my way was the price. My parents told me that to afford it, I would have to get both the top academic and art scholarships. It was a slim chance, which was why I was so surprised when I got the letter about the academic scholarship. It created a glimmer of hope that my dream school maybe wouldn't be just that.
In February, I went on an overnight campus visit and again fell in love with everything about CSBSJU. Going on the overnight reinforced all the great feelings that I had towards Saint Bens, but also unearthed the sad reality that this was most likely not where I would spend my next four years. I had this in mind when I met my parents at the end of the visit. They asked me how it was, and I told them all the great things that had happened and how much I loved the school. Once we got in the car, my parents handed me a letter with my name on it. Not sure what it was (I was honestly expecting another raft postcard), I took it and realized it was a letter about the art scholarship I had applied for.
My eyes widened, and I trembled, knowing that this was the letter that would determine a big part of my future. This was it, my last hope. Frozen in my car seat, I skimmed, the uncertainty killing me until I saw it. The thing I'd been hoping for. It was official; I could go to Saint Bens!
It is now six months later, and I am now a Bennie. My first year has so far been amazing, filled with lots of new experiences and wonderful people! Being here is like a treat that I am so grateful to have. I am currently an art major; pursuing a subject I'm passionate about. I am so glad to be able to attend school at a place where I truly feel accepted and at home.
Bridget D. '18 | Andover, Minn.