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Alison Lehman

A Look Back at the Once Unknown

As time flies by, I am going into my third year at Carroll University. If you would have asked me four years ago if I would be at the place I am today or doing what I am today, I would have said no way. I could never have imagined that I would be so involved in campus life and extracurricular activities. I find myself finally reaching outside my comfort zone and pushing myself to reach new limits and loving every minute of it. Looking back at where it all started in my senior year of high school, I could not be more blessed to have the pieces fall into place along with all the opportunities and experiences I have encountered up to this point.

As a senior in high school, my norm was to arrive home and find up to five new college informational flyers daily, further confusing my college search. The flyers just seemed to keep pouring in and even consumed an entire corner of my bedroom. Yet, I continually pushed off the college search because I became overwhelmed with deciding the fate of my career. How could an 18 year old truly know what they wanted for their future?

As the school year came to a close and time was running out, I made the decision to attend Lawrence University and play on their volleyball team. Carroll University and St Norbert’s were leading contenders but Lawrence swayed my decision because I could continue to play the sport I loved. Looking back, a sport was a foolish deciding factor but that is what it had boiled down to. The love of the game motivated me but as my first trimester came to a close, I knew I was not in the right school. Feeling out of place and lost, I was no longer set on Lawrence and I decided to transfer into a school that was close to my family and focus solely on academics. My search lead me back to Carroll University, which has a central location to my home, beautiful architecture and buildings, and respectable academic programs.

Transferring into Carroll halfway through my freshman year, I was like a fish out of water. I tried to find my calling by attending all my classes, making some friends along the way, and even sticking to a gym routine but I still did not entirely blend in and fit into Carroll. The end of my sophomore was when I started to feel like I was branching outside my comfort zone that had held me back so many times in my past. The writing center had open positions and I took a bold step forward and applied. This job strengthened my desire to work with other individuals from various backgrounds in my future. Some other extracurricular clubs I became involved with were psychology club and Psi Chi. Through these activities, I was able to make connections with other students and faculty and further push myself into trying new activities outside my comfort zone. Slowly but surely, I was learning to stand up for myself and not hold myself back from opportunities that I was surrounded by.

Going into my junior year I became even more involved in out of school activities. I continued working for the writing center, obtained a job tutoring a student in English, joined Habitat for Humanity, and was fortunate with the opportunity to work for Dr. Simpson. Even though I am constantly on the move and running from place to place, I could not imagine my life any other way. Looking back, I have had countless opportunities come knocking on my door. As a senior in high school, I could never have guessed I would be so consumed by school, extracurricular actives, and jobs that are guiding me to better understand who I am and what I want to be doing in my future.

I have spent countless late nights researching jobs, masters programs, internship ideas and countless more trying to grasp some grain of knowledge or direction. My career path after Carroll has many opportunities and possible directions. Part of me is pulled toward areas of social work, industrial and organization psychology or research programs in psychology; as I plan to pursue at least a master’s degree. Since I am also minoring in Spanish, I would love to further explore the Spanish language and culture and incorporate that into my future in any way possible.

As I look back on my life and how it has shaped me into the individual I am today, I cannot help but wonder what direction my life will take me in another five years. With all of the opportunities I have encountered to date and the individuals that have touched my life, it motivates me to push my limits and reach for the stars even in times of confusion and self-discovery. I need to not hold back but immerse myself into the opportunities that surround me.


Posted by Professor David Simpson

Professor of Psychology, Carroll University (USA), Lover of Dogs, Reading, Teaching and Learning. Looking for ways to enhance cross-global communication and to apply technology learning tools.