Michelle Gerrity

Michelle's Interview

Mechanical Engineering

A BLANK CANVAS

It was April and I was graduating from my community college the next month and I still had no idea where I was going to transfer to. In fact, I was still deciding on a major! Once I decided that I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, I looked at my options for schools. The one that stuck out the best to me was Bradley University. I remember my visit was very different from the other schools that I had gone to. The moment I stepped onto Bradley’s campus, I felt that there was something different here. The people on the campus were friendly and the students said hi to the visitors. The campus was lively and active and seemed to be calling my name. Compared to the other schools, Bradley University gave me the impression that I could start anew and there was a blank canvas waiting for me to paint my story on.

THEY MADE ME FEEL AT HOME

When I first came to Bradley I thought I would have a difficult time transitioning into another school, but the people on Bradley’s campus, especially my ARA and RA made the change so much easier. Everyone was very welcoming and despite the fact that the other students all had their groups of friends that they normally hung out with, they were very inviting and friendly and didn’t make me feel like I would never fit in. Everyone is just at school to learn and have fun and we all help each other out. I never felt that I was an outsider coming into a new school; it has always felt like a place where I am welcome, can explore, and meet new people. I haven’t been going to Bradley for even a year and I already feel at home here, more than I did at my community college.

I stayed in the dorm my first semester coming to Bradley. I was really nervous about being far away from home and then on top of that, having to live with a stranger. What I came to find was that living away from home in the dorms was the best decision I made. I have made so many friends with the girls that were on my floor and not only that I was able to meet other people that live in the same dorm building. I immediately became involved in Hall Council and was the publicist. I made posters for our weekly events and every Sunday invited people in the dorm building to come to the event. It was a lot of fun getting to meet new people on other floors of the building and finding out that they were in the same classes I was. I now study with them since we have the same major.

My favorite thing about living in the dorms was getting to meet and observe my ARA and RA. They made the floor programs so much fun and I really enjoyed going to them. I became interested in becoming a staff member because it looked like a lot of fun and I felt that it would be good for me to step out of my comfort zone. I also liked the fact that ARAs and RAs get to help people with academic/personal problems. I was a tutor at my last college and I really loved helping people and making sure that they understood the material. I applied to be an ARA and got the position. I am now an ARA and I really enjoy this job of getting to help others and provide activities for the floor. I feel that I have really grown in my leadership skills and as a person. Living in the dorms has just brightened my experience at Bradley and I feel surrounded by a positive atmosphere that encourages me to be myself and do my best in everything I pursue here.

IT'S YOUR TIME TO SUCCEED

When I tell new people about Bradley, I always tell them that Bradley is a place where you can feel at home and not like you’re stepping onto someone else’s territory. It’s yours too. No one judges you; it’s a place where you can be you. It’s your time to excel. It’s your time to succeed and be all that you can be. Bradley is a place where all these opportunities are offered and it’s your choice to as to whether or not you want to grab them. It’s your experience and your time to write your story. Bradley is a blank slate waiting for you to make your mark.