Br. Michael Murphy
8 May 2018
Saint Mary’s College was never a school I planned to attend. I didn’t want to be at a small school. I didn’t want to be somewhere with no social life. I wanted to be somewhere new, maybe not stay in the Bay Area. I wanted to go to Cal Poly, Southern California, or maybe Oregon, or Penn State and pursue a business degree. I wanted to go to the East Coast to Boston and pursue a career in jazz. I wanted to go to Florida and continue playing lacrosse at the NCAA level. The problem with all of those things was that I wouldn’t be able to do all of them at once. I’d have to give something up, and because I couldn’t handle giving them up, I chose Saint Mary’s.
I dreamed of college my whole life. My mom was always reminding me of when I was in kindergarten asking how long it would be until I got to college. I knew from an early point in my life that I was going to get there and I wouldn’t let anyone or anything stop me. By the time high school got around, I was antsy. All I thought about was college and what I needed to do to get there. So I worked hard throughout high school. I did a lot of extracurricular: varsity sports, music ensembles, and constant volunteering in my community. At the time I did all of this to get accepted to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I wanted to go there to study Marine Biology since I loved the water and everything in it. Those plans changed after I got to senior year. I didn’t apply to Cal Poly, instead applying to all private schools and out-of-state schools. Saint Mary’s wasn’t even a consideration when I was applying to schools. I only applied to see what happened. So when acceptance letters came around, I put Saint Mary’s at the bottom of my list under schools like University of Oregon, GCU and Berklee School of Music. Yes, I got into schools I wanted to but now it was time to figure out money. If I went to a school like GCU or Embry-Riddle I’d be receiving a scholarship to play lacrosse, but I wouldn’t be able to play music. If I went to Berklee, I’d play music but not be able to play lacrosse, so I was torn. But Saint Mary’s changed that, by being here I was able to receive a most financial aid and continue doing music. So, I made the choice to come here, and I don’t regret it.
I believe that the community dynamic at Saint Mary’s has really helped me develop as an individual. Yes, we are a small school but that has made everything so much easier. I enjoy being able to email my teachers and have them respond immediately. I love being a person with a name and not just an ID number on an assignment. Academically, I’ve become stronger than I was. First semester I did struggle with the number of classes that I was put in and my GPA was not something I was proud of but I learned from that. With the help of Brother Michael, I figured out how to manage my time, and when registering for my spring classes I cut my work load in half. I can now say that I’m free...