Former student Wilissa Reist (BA, ’16) on how Augustana impacted her...
When I was in high school, I had a teacher tell me that I shouldn’t take the academic courses because I wasn’t smart enough. Later, when I wanted to pursue university, I had a teacher tell me that maybe I should just consider bible school because I would be ‘taken care of’ there. When I told people that I wanted to be a teacher, I was told by school staff that they could easily see me as doing better as an educational assistant. Through these experiences, I learned one thing: that I wasn’t good enough.
Then Augustana happened. There, I realized that if I continued to internalize these feelings of insignificance than I would become as miserable and angry as the people who told me I wasn’t good enough. It took me four years of university to unlearn what I learned in high school. Through the interactions and experiences that I had at Augustana, I learned to value myself as person who could positively contribute to the world.
Sometimes I wonder what I would do if I came face-to-face with my former high school teachers now. I can’t ever know for sure what I would do but I would hope that I would challenge them to stop looking at people based on how they want to see them. Rather, in the same way my professors at Augustana did, consider seeing the potential in every student that crosses your path. Because if we judge people based on only their negative attributes as opposed to their potential, we ignore the opportunity to help them and ourselves grow as individuals.
Today, I am starting my master’s degree with over $30 000 in funding. I would have never gotten to this point if it was not for the amazing people who approached me with kindness and acceptance. Who challenged me to learn as well as unlearn. Thank you Augustana.
Former student Jennifer Ha (BA, '16) on travelling abroad...
I did a semester abroad in Santiago de Cuba in 2015. It was undoubtedly the best decision I made in my degree and probably even one of the best decisions I've made in my entire life. In my four months there I developed so much as a student, thinker, global citizen, and a person. I made really amazing friends and memories, avoided winter, and learned SO much (about the world, myself, the Spanish language, everything!).
See what some of our other students are saying...
Melissa, an Edmontonian, on why she chose Augustana for her U of A experience.
Cam, co-editor of the Augustana Medium, on the value of Augustana's liberal arts education.