When I think of the Gannon Experience, the main thing comes to mind is this overwhelming sense of love. I have grown from someone entirely consumed by this fear of failure into an individual who is ready to fail. I feel so supported, and loved, at Gannon that I am willing to take criticism and opportunities without personally being hard on myself. I feel as though I am able to lift others up at all times. I do not feel negatively towards myself and this self love has enabled me to love others without envy or fear of rejection.
That is what the Gannon Experience does to students. The Gannon Experience is full of opportunities that allow you to develop into a holistic individual by centering on your passions. In order to create a constant template for what a Gannon student should experience, the office for Student Development and Engagement uses themes. Students use these themes to develop holistically but what each of these dimensions really mean depends on the individual. Creating unity through prioritizing wellness, globalization, service, leadership, and understanding your own L.I.F.E.C.O.R.E dimensions. For instance here are some of the themes and what they mean to me.
Wellness is not just referring to physical health but can also refer to things such as financial, spiritual, and mental health. Here is how I am staying well through Gannon:
-Understanding my anxiety fully for the first time in my life through the counseling center
-Utilizing the wellness center a few times a week
-Fun activities through APB where I can bond with peers
-Living with 3 people that fulfill me and lift me up
-Having a fantastic support system
-Going to mass on Sundays
-Steady income through my work study
-Understanding budgeting and how to negotiate a salary after a workshop my freshman year
-Access to the Student Success Center when I need support and to grow
Globalization is embracing the diversity in the world around us.
-Traveling to France for a month last summer to go to school (first time abroad) where I studied with international students
-Becoming best friends and now roommates with a student from India
-Befriending many international students and being able to understand their life experiences
-Intro to Honors class that centered on our place in the world
-Business Enterprise class centered on global environment
-Traveling to Haiti on an ABST
-Traveling to Hawaii for a leadership experience
-Traveling to Germany to study for 2 weeks
Service is immersing ourselves in the community around us.
-Being a ServeMore Sophomore
-Completing over 15 service hours each year through honors
-Working with the MLK center through SGA
-Attending an ABST to Haiti
-Volunteering at Sunday Supper, Beat Beethoven, the theater, and much more!
-Participating in GIVE Day
-Providing baskets during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week
Leadership giving ourselves to those around us in a way that makes our peers stronger.
-Being involved in WERG, the Honors Program, TRIO Program, SGA, APO, First Generation Club, Winterguard, and Alpha Kappa Psi.
-VP of Finance for SGA
-Being a part of Leadership X
-Being a Serve More Sophmore
-Writing for Edge Magazine
-Working in the Student Success Center
-Being a peer mentor through SAVE
To describe each of these experiences is impossible to do with so little time but all I can say that I feel so incredibly blessed. These opportunities have created in me this hunger, this passion, that motivates each and everyday of my life. If I can do this then anyone can! Think about it, We are just people. We all feel stupid, insecure, and scared. I can’t help but wonder; How many people are stuck in themselves today? How many people are sitting in their own head scared to take that step forward? Or are taking those opportunities but are not reaching that next level because they do not have the resources to do so?
The Gannon Experience is not the same as someone else. Thankfully! We are each unique so exactly how we fill in these sections of these themes is up to us and to our values. So maybe your idea of Wellness is the gym 5 times a week and mine is treating myself to Tandoori Hut because it calms me. Both are great because both meet our own needs. What is important is that you know that you are supported. The Gannon Experience is growing within your passions and never being afraid to fail.