How I chose to become a Bennie...or rather, how CSB chose me:
It was my senior year of high school. I had recently learned that the college I had hoped to attend did not offer enough financial aid to allow me to go there. It was the first time I really began to understand how financial aid could limit many senior's college choices.
The May 1 acceptance deadline was approaching quickly, and I realized it was time to make my college decision. I reluctantly sat down with my parents to decide between my two remaining choices; both liberal arts colleges, both with excellent reputations. One option was CSB/SJU. The other was my dad's alma mater. I was familiar with CSB/SJU because of family ties. Although I initially visited out of family obligation, I realized how good of a fit it was for me after my tour. My parents and I discussed the pros and cons of both schools. I began to get more excited as I realized the reality of college was just around the corner, but my decision wasn't becoming any clearer.
I couldn't decide. Both schools were small, liberal arts colleges with strong academics and great school spirit. In an effort to keep our spirits high, my mom pulled out an old box of candy from past holidays, some being almost a year old (my mom would be embarrassed if she knew I admitted that). I pleaded with my mom to tell me what to do and she simply said, "Listen to your heart." I turned to my dad, ever the jokester, and his response in support of his alma mater was, "Our color is blue and that would go well with your eyes". I laughed and dug into the candy. As we talked, a call came in and we chose to let it go to voicemail. It was 8:00 at night and here was a professor from the CSB/SJU music department congratulating me on receiving a music scholarship. She offered to talk with me and said she hoped I would choose to attend CSB/SJU. My mom chimed in, "Now there's a nod in favor of Saint Ben's, maybe that's a sign!" A few minutes later, as I opened a year-old piece of Dove chocolate, I became sure of my decision.
While all of the other Dove chocolates I've seen have been wrapped in sentiments such as "Share a chocolate with a friend" and "Remind yourself its okay not to be perfect", this wrapper was not like the others. It answered my prayers. It simply said "You know what? You look good in red." And that was it: Saint Ben's it was.
Flash forward three years...
I cannot imagine myself anywhere other than CSB. I love it here - the community, the involvement on campus, the friendships and the high academic standards.
With a little help from a piece of chocolate and the great financial aid CSB offers, I am lucky to find myself at CSB/SJU, and I know I'm meant to be a Bennie!
Sarah Clark '17 | Eau Claire, Wis.