As I was researching which college to attend, I did not want to venture too far away from my hometown of Poplar, Montana. Billings seemed to be the ideal location because it is far enough, yet close enough if I needed to take a quick trip back home. It also gave me great comfort to know that my family and friends would be able to visit me more often than they would have been able to had I chosen to attend college elsewhere.
Like many first-year students, I had no idea what I wanted to study in college. All I knew was that I wanted to get my degree. I knew that from an early age. Still, I was not sure how a degree would change my life. Now that I am in the workforce utilizing my Business degree at Wells Fargo, I can see how crucial that decision was. I am learning that a college degree can set you apart from other candidates.
I am thankful for the cultural diversity on campus at MSU Billings because it exposed me to so many different experiences and resources that I do not think I otherwise would have known had I not attended MSU Billings. Education is power, especially for a Native American woman. Initially, I thought I would take my knowledge back to my reservation, pursue a career there, and help my community, but I soon realized that I still have so much more to learn.
My advice to Native American students who may be thinking about attending college is to go for it! The experience you will gain at MSU Billings will shape you for a lifetime. I am thankful that I made MSU Billings my university of choice because the knowledge I gained there has established a firm foundation for my future – academically, socially, and culturally. I am pleased to say that if I had to do it all over again, I would choose MSU Billings.