‘It Feels Like I Belong Here’
Creighton University Student Alissa Dolan

‘It Feels Like I Belong Here’

Alissa Dolan
Heider College of Business
Class of 2020

During my college search, all my friends talked about this “feeling” that they got when they knew a school was right for them. I was searching for my “feeling.” I kept telling myself I would pick a school by Christmas, then before Valentine’s Day, then before spring break. None of those happened.

I had “pros-and-cons” lists everywhere, in my room, on my phone, on scratch pieces of paper, none of which helped me. I knew Creighton offered a good education, I knew it was farther from my home in Minnesota, but what made it stick out to me was how they focused on the kind of person you were once you graduated.

Creighton University Student ExperienceYes, I wanted to get my degree, have the college experience and learn a lot of new things, but what I wanted most was a school that focused on personal growth. I ended up making my decision to come to Creighton in the last week of April, just days before the deadline. I felt good about my decision. I didn’t have any regrets, and I still don’t.

What to Expect: Arriving on Campus

I didn’t know what I was supposed to expect from college. Was it going to be like the movies? Was I going to like my roommate? Were we going to be best friends? I had no idea, but driving up on move-in day, I felt nothing but excitement.

My dorm room was bigger than I anticipated and I was able to fit all my clothes, which was already a good sign. My floor was all-girls, and coming in I wondered about the simple things: When would I shower? Would I have to wait for a shower? Would the water pressure be good? I wondered: How will I get to know everyone on my floor? Where do people do their homework?

What I found was, it’s different for every person. Dorm life is nothing glamorous, but it is fun. I’ve met so many girls on my floor. I’ve never had to wait for a shower, and the water pressure was much better than expected! People study in different places, and it’s all about finding what works best for you.

Professors Who are There for You

I thought classes were overwhelming at first. I remember one professor handing out a syllabus on the first day that contained every homework assignment and exam for the semester. But I soon learned that the professors are there for you.

I contacted my math professor, Dr. Micki Mallenby, within the first two weeks of class, asking if she could help me with a concept we had learned in class. She was more than willing to help me and even made accommodations to fit my schedule. I’ve found that all the professors here at Creighton are willing to go out of their way to help students at all times.

A Place to Call Home, Form Relationships

Creighton University Student ExperienceI knew I made the right decision to come to Creighton when I called it “home” for the first time. I was coming back from a Welcome Week event, when my mom called. I answered and said, “Can I give you a call back? I’m almost home.” It took me by surprise, because I never expected Nebraska to feel like home. I was a Minnesotan girl with a stereotypical Minnesotan accent (or so I was told). What I found in the weeks to come was that Creighton is my home away from home. It feels like I belong here, and I know that I made the right decision to come to Creighton.

I will never forget how excited I was on my first day of classes. I went to Harper for lunch and couldn’t contain my excitement. The lady who was making my wrap was one of the nicest people I have ever met. She struck up a conversation and told me it was her first day, too. We felt so similar in the moment, the counter was the only thing separating us. I never expected to have that kind of personal experience while getting lunch. I realized then that Creighton was all about making relationships, not only with students and your professors, but with everyone at Creighton.

Overcoming Challenges with Help from Others

The most challenging part for me was getting to be comfortable speaking in class. I was nervous that I wouldn’t say the correct answer or that others would think that I had a stupid question. As classes went on, I became more comfortable talking and asking questions. The professors went out of their way to try to make all the students in the room feel more comfortable.

This was something that I had never thought about while looking at schools: How do the professors make the students feel comfortable? It’s now something that I tell all high-schoolers. Talk to the students who go to the school you’re considering, do an overnight, and make sure you get all your questions answered.

 

Is Creighton Right for You?

Creighton University Student ExperienceThere are so many things to consider when making a decision about where to go to college. I think the most important thing is to know what you want. What are you looking for out of your college experience?

If it’s a good education, one that will test your limits but still make sure you succeed; an abundance of connections and resources, countless study-abroad opportunities, a natural environment; and simply a place that feels like home, then Creighton University is for you.