My Journey to BVU

Savannah Davis, Staff Writer

College application time is a stressful experience for high school graduating seniors. With many different educational options to choose from, making that decision can be quite overwhelming. I feel so lucky to say that I have dreamt of attending classes at Buena Vista University since I was thirteen years old. Not many people can say that they were able to happily fulfill an ongoing educational dream of theirs and because I can, I feel like the luckiest human being alive. Many tell me how amazing it is that I reached my destination, but a lot of people don’t know how much resilience and patience went into bringing me here. 

Unfortunately, my high school experience was bumpy. I struggled when it came to focusing because of internal issues and environmental factors that I had going on at the time and my grades were a huge reflection of those. I did not have the GPA or test scores necessary to attend BVU as a freshman. I was crushed when I found out that I wouldn’t be making my younger self proud. I felt like I had already been on a long journey through high school. I often wondered if maybe my efforts just weren’t good enough. I, fortunately, got to take a gap year traveling the country with an organization called the AmeriCorps, FEMA Corps. I helped aid after natural disasters occurred, and the combination of my trainings and deployments for this program required me to live in Mississippi and Puerto Rico during that time.   

After my time of volunteering came to an end, I decided that I wanted to give the college experience a chance. I decided to start at community college so that I could save money and give myself a fresh start in education. The funny thing about my community college experience starting is that I showed up for what I thought was orientation and a tour of the school. The look on my face when the faculty member guiding us told me that we would be signing up for the upcoming semester had to of been hilarious. I had explained to her that I didn’t initially plan to register for the fall semester. She told me that I could have five minutes to decide if I wanted to follow through, otherwise, she advised that I go and come back a few months later to register for the spring.   

Little did I know that the pressure of that five minutes would change my entire life. I remember feeling the adrenaline rush while trying to collect my thoughts because I had just registered for six classes and had no idea how I would be paying for them. However, I got very lucky, because the kind faculty member that had been guiding us had faith in me. She awarded me my first scholarship and gave me additional resources to cover fees. This act of kindness did more than save me a couple hundred dollars that first semester. It made me feel valued and it was the foundation of me seeing my own worth. I needed that more than anything. Because someone found my education worth investing in, I just had to do well and not give them the opportunity to question if it was a mistake. 

 The pre-semester anxiety that I had felt that first year was too real. I hadn’t been in a classroom setting in a long time and I feared failure. The overall goals I set for myself were to achieve a 3.5 GPA and to get involved in at least one activity for resume building. If anyone were to have told me that I would be graduating with my Associate of Arts degree debt-free, with honors, multiple titles, and loads of extracurriculars on my resume. If anyone were to try and tell me that I would be successful, I would have told them that they were crazy. The best and most important part of this journey is that I finally earned a spot at Buena Vista University as a transfer student.  

Getting the phone call that I had been admitted in early brought a rush of emotions. At that moment all I could think of was each day I had stressed over how I initially messed up my plans, and how I became so close to getting where I wanted to be but still didn’t hit the benchmark. Every night that I spent studying until 2 am, and every minute I spent trying to figure out how to manage my life, was worth it. How lucky am I to chase a dream for so long and achieve it? I would say that I am beyond blessed. This experience has shaped me in so many positive ways and brought me closer to being the woman I have always aspired to be. So, to that, all I can say is thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my journey to BVU. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without all the encouragement that I received. 

 Go Beavers!